Read about Ahmad Jamal net worth, age, wife, children, height, family, parents, salary, and cause of death as well as other information you need to know.
Ahmad Jamal was an American jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator. For six decades, he was one of the most successful small-group leaders in jazz. He was a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master and won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy for his contributions to music history.
|Net Worth||$5 million|
|Occupation||Jazz pianist, Composer, Bandleader, Educator|
Ahmad Jamal whose real name is Frederick Russell Jones was born on July 2, 1930, until his death on April 16, 2023, at t he age of 92 years old. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Baptist parents. He began playing piano at the age of three when his uncle Lawrence challenged him to duplicate what he was doing on the piano.
Ahmad Jamal began formal piano training at the age of seven with Mary Cardwell Dawson, whom he described as having greatly influenced him. His Pittsburgh roots remained an important part of his identity (“Pittsburgh meant everything to me and it still does,” he said in 2001) and it was there that he was immersed in the influence of jazz artists such as Earl Hines, Billy Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams, and Erroll Garner.
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Jamal also studied with pianist James Miller and began playing piano professionally at the age of fourteen, at which point he was recognized as a “coming great” by the pianist Art Tatum. When asked about his practice habits by a critic from The New York Times, Jamal commented that, “I used to practice and practice with the door open, hoping someone would come by and discover me. I was never a practitioner in the sense of twelve hours a day, but I always thought about music. I think about music all the time.”
He began touring with George Hudson’s Orchestra after graduating from George Westinghouse High School in 1948. He joined another touring group known as The Four Strings, which disbanded when violinist Joe Kennedy Jr. left. In 1950 he moved to Chicago and performed intermittently with local musicians Von Freeman and Claude McLin, and solo at the Palm Tavern, occasionally joined by drummer Ike Day.
Jamal discovered Islam in his teens. While touring in Detroit, where there was a sizable Muslim community in the 1940s and 1950s, he became interested in Islam and Islamic culture. He converted to Islam and changed his name to Ahmad Jamal in 1950.
In an interview with The New York Times a few years later, he said his decision to change his name stemmed from a desire to “re-establish my original name.” Shortly after his conversion to Islam, he explained to The New York Times that he “says Muslim prayers five times a day and arises in time to say his first prayers at 5 am. He says them in Arabic in keeping with the Muslim tradition.”
Ahmad Jamal made his first records in 1951 for the Okeh label with The Three Strings (which would later also be called the Ahmad Jamal Trio, although Jamal himself preferred not to use the term “trio”): the other members were guitarist Ray Crawford and a bassist, at different times Eddie Calhoun (1950–52), Richard Davis (1953–54), and Israel Crosby (from 1954).
The Three Strings arranged an extended engagement at Chicago’s Blue Note, but leapt to fame after performing at the Embers in New York City where John Hammond saw the band play and signed them to Okeh Records. Hammond, a record producer who discovered the talents and enhanced the fame of musicians like Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Count Basie, also helped Jamal’s trio attract critical acclaim.
Ahmad Jamal subsequently recorded for Parrot (1953–55) and Epic (1955) using the piano-guitar-bass lineup. The trio’s sound changed significantly when Crawford was replaced with drummer Vernel Fournier in 1957, and the group worked as the “House Trio” at Chicago’s Pershing Hotel. The trio released the live album, At the Pershing: But Not for Me, which stayed on the Ten Best-selling charts for 108 weeks. Jamal’s recording of the well-known song “Poinciana” was first released on this album.
Jamal’s most famous recording, At the Pershing, was recorded at the Pershing Hotel in Chicago in 1958; it brought him popularity in the late 1950s and into the 1960s jazz age. Jamal played the set with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier. The set list expressed a diverse collection of tunes, including “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from the musical Oklahoma! and Jamal’s arrangement of the jazz standard “Poinciana”.
Jazz musicians and listeners alike found inspiration in the At the Pershing recording, and Jamal’s trio was recognized as an integral new building block in the history of jazz. Evident were his unusually minimalist style and his extended vamps, according to reviewer John Morthl and. “If you’re looking for an argument that pleasurable mainstream art can assume radical status at the same time, Jamal is your guide,” said The New York Times contributor Ben Ratliff in a review of the album.
After the recording of the best-selling album But Not For Me, Jamal’s music grew in popularity throughout the 1950s, and he attracted media coverage for his investment decisions pertaining to his “rising fortune”. In 1959, he took a tour of North Africa to explore investment options in Africa.
Jamal, who was 29 at the time, said he had a curiosity about the homeland of his ancestors, highly influenced by his conversion to the Muslim faith. He also said his religion had brought him peace of mind about his race, which accounted for his “growth in the field of music that has proved very lucrative for me.” Upon his return to the U.S. after a tour of North Africa, the financial success of Live at the Pershing: But Not For Me allowed Jamal to open a restaurant and club called The Alhambra in Chicago.
In 1962, The Three Strings disbanded and Jamal moved to New York City, where, at the age of 32, he took a hiatus from his musical career. In 1964, Jamal resumed touring and recording, this time with the bassist Jamil Nasser and recorded a new album, Extensions, in 1965. Jamal and Nasser continued to play and record together from 1964 to 1972.
Ahmad Jamal also joined forces with Fournier (again, but only for about a year) and drummer Frank Gant (1966–76), among others. Until 1970, he played acoustic piano exclusively. The final album on which he played acoustic piano in the regular sequence was The Awakening. In the 1970s, he played electric piano as well; one such recording was an instrumental recording of “Suicide is Painless,” the theme song from the 1970 film MASH, which was released on a 1973 reissue of the film’s soundtrack album, replacing the original vocal version of the song by The Mash.
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It was rumored that the Rhodes piano was a gift from someone in Switzerland. He continued to play throughout the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in trios with piano, bass and drums, but he occasionally expanded the group to include guitar. One of his most long-standing gigs was as the band for the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., from 1979 through the 1990s.
In his 80s, Ahmad Jamal continued to make numerous tours and recordings, including albums such as Saturday Morning (2013), the CD/DVD release Ahmad Jamal Featuring Yusef Lateef Live at L’Olympia (2014), and Marseille (2017), which features vocals in French. Jamal was the main mentor of jazz piano virtuosa Hiromi Uehara, known as Hiromi. In 1986, Jamal sued critic Leonard Feather for using his former name in a publication.
Ahmad Jamal cause of death
Ahmad Jamal died on April 16, 2023. The cause of death was complications of prostate cancer at his home in Ashley Falls, Massachusetts. He was 92.
Ahmad Jamal was married to his wife Laura Hess-Hay. The had their wedding ceremony in 1982. Jamaal anmd his wife Laura had a son together.
Ahmad Jamal net worth
How much was Ahmad Jamal worth? Ahmad Jamal net worth was estimated at around $5 million. His main source of income was from his primary work as a jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Ahmad Jamal’s salary per month and other career earnings were over $520,000 dollars annually. His remarkable achievements earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. He was one of the richest and most influential jazz pianists in the United States. He stood at an appealing height of 1.75m and had a good body weight which suited his personality.
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