george duke*As I arrived at Lure in Hollywood on Monday I couldn’t help but to be amazed at the hundreds of musicians and vocalists that were present in the house.

This couldn’t have been a better place to salute the one and only, George Duke.

From Diane Reeves, Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Chaka Khan, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Laila Hathaway, Jeffrey Osbourne, Verdine White, rapper Dougie Fresh, Eric Benet, to Christian McBride, were just a few of the artists that represented a 360 degree musical spectrum to pay poignant tribute to him.

He was a trailblazer in what is now called jazz fusion, and collaborated with and produced many top recording artists including Harry Belefonte, Gladys Knight, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson (just to name a few). And should I forget, his associations with Al Jarreau, Miles Davis, and Julian “Cannonball” Adderly who he said “gave me the opportunity to meet and work with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, and Dizzy Gillespie- all these great artists I’d been listening to since I was a kid.”

As he continued his association with “Cannonball” he met bassist Stanley Clarke whom he would later collaborate with ( The Clarke /Duke Project).

There’s not enough words in anyone’s dictionary that could adequately describe this musical giant.

He left us a body of work that will no doubt continue to influence us. He touched so many people in his lifetime with his spirit and music that will always be with us.

May God’s Peace and Blessings be upon his soul.

Watch Diane Reeves’ salute to George Duke:

To watch MORE performances from the memorial service (at CentricTV.com), click HERE.

 Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak, a portrait artist as well, can be contacted at qmubarak06@aol.com for your comments.

Mohammed Mubarak

Mohammed Mubarak