Jazz Musicians, After the Spotlight Fades
Fresno State grad and NPR reporter Felix Contreras contributes this report on All Things Considered about former Basie tenor saxophonist Frank Foster, and the all too familiar story of many elder statesmen of jazz...
Just as many baby boomers face the prospect of caring for aging parents, the jazz world is faced with caring for a generation of aging musicians like Frank Foster. Now 76, the tenor saxophonist, who played with the Count Basie Orchestra, has suffered a stroke and can no longer perform, leaving him with an uncertain financial future.
Although collectively these jazz greats are revered for being the principal architects of a sound that revolutionized jazz after World War II, many now face low wages, little or no health insurance, and often no royalty payments for the recordings that made history.
Read more and hear Felix's report at npr.org
This is the first of a four part series airing on NPR about aging jazz musicians.