Music Minute: Jazz Legend Jimmy Heath

Jan 22, 2020

Today, we remember the life of jazz legend Jimmy Heath, who died at his home in Loganville, Georgia, on Sunday at the age of 93.


Heath was born in Philadelphia in 1926 and went on to become a prolific saxophone player. He was also well known as a composer and arranger for large jazz ensembles.

In 2010, Heath wrote his autobiography, “I Walked with Giants.”

This was in reference to his close friendships with John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.  

"You become an icon when you’re dead,” Heath told NPR Music in 2014. “I’d rather be an acorn and be alive.”

He is survived by his wife Mona, his brother Albert, as well as his children and grandchildren, including his Grammy-award winning son, James Mtume.