Chick Corea 1941-2021: A Photographer’s Tribute

We lost an important figure in the music world yesterday. Chick Corea was an accomplished composer, pianist, and bandleader who has been active on the scene for over 50 years.

My own first personal exposure to him occurred as a freshman in college when I heard his album with Return to Forever Light as a Feather. The joy in his music, cheered me up as I was experiencing a rough transition from high school. The next album from the band blew me away and came from a different direction, Hymn of the 7th Galaxy. Jazz-Rock Fusion burst upon the scene and along with Mahavishnu Orchestra became part of my then small record collection.

In the winter of ’75, I attended my first Chick Corea concert, Return to Forever played in support of their No Mystery album at the Union College Memorial Chapel to a wildly cheering crowd that many of my classmates still remember (A young Springsteen played the same venue a few months before with the same reaction).

In the subsequent years, I was to hear him many times playing with many different bands, solo, and many different genres. His creativity was never-ending. Here in Nippertown, we have been fortunate enough to see have many opportunities to see him over the years. The venues I can recall are Russell Sage College, SPAC, Troy Music Hall, Massry Center at the College of St. Rose, the Creative Music Studio (Woodstock, NY), and The Egg.

Since my college years, my collection of LPs and CDs with Chick Corea has grown immensely.  He seemed as timeless and immortal as his music and spirit. 

But alas he is as physically mortal as you and I. He reportedly passed away from a rare form of cancer.

Rest easy Maestro. Your musical legacy leaves on.

Photo Gallery by Rudy Lu

  1. Robert Gaesser says

    Wonderful tribute to Chic !

  2. Liz says

    Rudy, your fabulous photos really capture moments in time with the great Chick Corea. It must have been a wonderful experience seeing him through your lens. No doubt these were experiences that will live with you forever. Chick blessed our world with his musical genius and we’ll miss him. Thanks for sharing your memories and photos.

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