Written by from NPR
For decades, Jimmy Amadie played only in his home, heard only heard by his students when he’d play for them during lessons. His performing career was derailed because of severe hand problems. But later in life he achieved some fame for his albums — and for the story of what he had to overcome to make it possible for him to record. Amadie died on December 10 at the age of 76, of lung cancer.
Amadie became an educator after he was forced to stop playing. He wrote two instructional text books: one on the harmonic foundation of jazz, another on jazz improvisation. The story of how he was finally able to record several albums, and even perform one concert before he died, involves Fresh Air‘s executive producer Danny Miller, who studied piano with him in the ’70s and ’80s. They remained good friends. Miller joined host Terry Gross to speak about Jimmy Amadie’s life and career.