James Mtume dies aged 76

PERCUSSIONIST James Mtume, a pioneer in jazz and R&B music, has died at the age of 76.

Mtume is a key element in jazz, R&B, hip hop, and film scores. He used his talents to connect culture and art with politics.

James Mtume has passed away at the age of 76


James Mtume has passed away at the age of 76Credit: Getty

He passed away on Sunday but his cause of death is unknown at this time.

“Many people don’t know that Mtume is very political and knowledgeable in many different areas,” said Fatiyn Muhammad, executive producer of WBLS’s Open Line radio program.

“I felt like the air was being sucked out of the room. Mtume is a special individual. ”

Mtume is known for 1983’s Juicy Fruit, sampled by The Notorious BIG on their first official single Juicy in 1994.

Mtume celebrated the song’s 35th anniversary in 2018 by returning to his hometown of Philadelphia.

“I would say that I was a very special childhood growing up,” Mtume told The Philadelphia Tribune in 2018. The musician born in 1946 is James Forman.

His father is James Heath, a world-renowned saxophonist of the Heath Brothers.

However, Mtume was raised by James Forman, also a jazz musician. “He played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and all those guys,” Mtume said.

“So when I was growing up, maybe at dinner one night, there was Dizzy Gillespie, another night, there was John Coltrane. [or] Thelonious Monk.

“I’m only 10 years old, so I don’t know how deep it is, but I do know that it’s phenomenal to hear conversations with these great jazz musicians,” he told the Tribune.

“At the same time, I’m growing up listening to the birth of R&B and soul – James Brown, The Temptations, Motown – so I’ve got a very exciting musical background coming up.”

Mtume is known for the song Juicy Fruit, which was later sampled by The Notorious BIG.


Mtume is known for the song Juicy Fruit, which was later sampled by The Notorious BIG.Credit: Getty James Mtume dies aged 76

Huynh Nguyen

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