Joey DeFrancesco, driving force on the Hammond organ

Joey DeFrancesco, driving force on the Hammond organ, dies at 51

Joey DeFrancesco, who brought the richly enveloping sound of the Hammond B-3 organ roaring back into the jazz mainstream in the early 1990s

reigning as its preeminent ace for more than 30 years, died on Thursday. He was 51.

Gloria DeFrancesco, his wife and manager, announced his death on social media, but did not provide a cause.

Few jazz artists in any era have ever dominated the musical language and popular image of an instrument the way DeFrancesco did with the organ

He exhibited supreme technical command at the keyboard, reeling off ribbons of notes with his right hand.

And he took full advantage of the sonic possibilities presented by an organ console, with its drawbars, switches

pedal board; his organ could lurch abruptly from an ambient hum to a sanctified holler, or change timbres and textures in the middle of a phrase.

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