‘He was a musical giant’
South African jazz musician dies at 70
JOHANNESBURG — Ray Phiri, a South African jazz musician who founded the band Stimela and became internationally known while performing on Paul Simon’s Graceland tour, died of cancer on Wednesday at age 70.
Phiri, a vocalist and guitarist known for his versatility in jazz fusion, indigenous South African rhythms and other styles, received many music awards in his home country. His death was met with nationwide tributes.
“He was a musical giant. This is indeed a huge loss for South Africa and the music industry as a whole,’’ President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.
Political parties also expressed condolences, saying Phiri’s songs resonated among many South Africans.