OBITUARY: Steve Lacy, 69

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Steve Lacy
Photo by Mephisto

Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy died in Boston of liver cancer on June 4, 2004. He was 69.

He had been diagnosed last August, but had continued to teach and perform until recently. According to a post on Lacy’s website, he slipped into a coma in the hospital on Wednesday and never regained consciousness.

Long an expatriate in France, Lacy returned to the States in 2002 and took up a teaching position at the New England Conservatory of Music.

In a comment he wrote for NewMusicBox in November 2002, he had this to say:

I have always felt that a musician must follow his music wherever it takes him, and I do whatever it takes to keep it going, without artistic compromise. I also believe that the music we make knows more about how it wants to be, and what it wishes to become, than we do and that it will make clear what needs to be done in order to maintain and improve its own qualities and nature.
  • Read Steve Lacy’s obituary by Todd S. Jenkins on the Jazz Journalists Association website.