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Jon Hendricks: September 16, 1921 – November 22, 2017

Jon Hendricks
September 16, 1921 – November 22, 2017
Jazz Lyricist and Vocalese Singer
Passes Away at Age 96
Read Obituary from The New York Times
Jazz lyricist and vocalese singer Jon Hendricks passed away peacefully with family by his side in New York City on Wednesday, November 22 at the age of 96.
Known for bringing the style of vocalese to mainstream audiences, Hendricks rose to fame in the late 1950s as the principle lyricist for the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, earning a Grammy® Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for their 1961 album High Flying. His lasting legacy continues to stand the test of time with generations of world-renowned singers including Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, and Kurt Elling influenced by Hendricks’ work.
States longtime collaborator and close friend Kurt Elling, “Jon Hendricks always will be the greatest of jazz lyricists. I can’t imagine him being surprised that his wife Judith thought of him as a mystical offspring of William Shakespeare. His ingenuity and mother wit was always on full display, and word twist devices was nothing short of miraculous. His command of the jazz language and interpretive nature of his improvisation was on parallel with the greatest instrumentalists. As a lyricist, he was as equally generous with his words, as he was as a mentor and friend of all the jazz singers who have followed him. The last I encountered Jon in his final days he was in the same spirit of joy and interaction.”
Jon Hendricks is survived by his daughters Michele and Aria Hendricks, son Jon Hendricks, Jr., and three grandchildren Colleen, Azaria and Daniel. His wife of 57 years, Judith, died two years ago, on November 18, 2015.