Grover Washington, Jr.

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  • Mister Magic

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About Grover Washington, Jr.

Given a saxophone by his father at age eight, jazz musician Grover Washington, Jr., rose to fame as one of the originators of the smooth jazz sound. ∙ His two mid-’70s jazz-funk LPs, Mister Magic and Feels So Good, were back-to-back Top 10 Pop hits. ∙ The Platinum-selling 1980 album Winelight earned him a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance and was also nominated for Record of the Year. ∙ “Just the Two of Us”—his signature duet with Bill Withers—won the 1982 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and was reworked by Will Smith into a Top 20 hit in 1998. ∙ Hip-hop duo Outkast prominently sampled his 1975 song “Knucklehead” on their 1994 hit “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.” ∙ Washington appeared in Blues Brothers 2000 as a member of the fictional in-film band, The Louisiana Gator Boys, alongside such legends as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Bo Diddley. ∙ Aria, his posthumously released 2000 album, was acclaimed for its jazz-combo arrangements backed by a 30-piece chamber orchestra.

HOMETOWN
Buffalo, NY, United States of America
BORN
December 12, 1943