Don Shirley

Cadence Records

When the jazz pianist Don Shirley died on April 6, his passing was not widely reported.

A New York Times obituary noted that the Jamaican born virtuoso pianist was trained in the classical repertoire. Later, the impresario Sol Hurok advised Shirley “to pursue a career in popular music and jazz.” Hurok warned Shirley that “American audiences were not willing to accept a ‘colored’ pianist on the concert stage.”