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Celebrity Death

Saxophonist Willie Garnett’s Sudden Death Shocked Fans


We are sad to announce the great saxophonist Willie Garnett’s death at the age of 85. Garnett was born in Haifa on August 25, 1936, and passed away in London on Friday, October 15, 2021.

As bandleader of his own big band, his strong and cutting sound, the joy, and the fluency in his playing are unforgettable.

He was a ‘one-off’ and a genuinely lovely man. According to his friends, Willie Garnett spread joy and humor, sharing loads of great stories in a place for sax players, or in his Big Band, or at a Bulls Head Tony Lee guest night.

Willie Garnett has died at 85
Saxophonist Willie Garnett passed away at the age of 85

He gave a great deal of support and encouragement to those starting out in a tough profession.

There is no official report about Willie Garnett’s cause of death, but we are waiting for more official information, so stay with us. More information will be updated as we receive it.

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Reactions to Willie Garnett’s Death

Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.

Ray Gelato wrote: “Today I heard the sad news that Willie Garnett has left us. Willie was a kind, gentle and generous man and one of the best sax repair men in the business.” He added that “He came to my 50th Birthday party and I had just invited him to my 60th, next week. Sadly it wasn’t to be. RIP Willy Garnett. You were a one off, and we’ll miss you so much.”

Paul Weimar wrote on Facebook: “I have just learned that my dearest old friend and mentor Willie Garnett has passed away. I am absolutely devastated by this news. Willie was one of the greatest human beings you could ever meet. Companionate, generous, talented, and funny. I spent most of my late teens hanging out with Willie, sitting in with him on jazz gigs around London and learning my trade. Rest in peace, old friend; I wish I had managed to say goodbye.”

Another commented: “I met him a couple of times when I was a volunteer at the Bracknell Jazz Festival in the early ’80s. He was a really friendly man. Loved his playing as well.”

Please kindly scroll down and use the comment box to share your feelings about the heartbreaking news for tributes and prayers. Please keep in mind that the family needs privacy; please respect them during this difficult time. He leaves behind his family members; “Sue,” “Alex,” “Louise” and “Roger.”

We are eagerly waiting to get your words if you have more information. You can read about other celebrities’ life and career till death in the celebrity death section.

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  1. Keith Beasley October 17, 2021

    Just about the nicest, friendliest man I’ve ever known.. It was always a pleasure to be in his company. So many great memories of playing with him, from the Half Moon in Putney, The 100 Club in Oxford Street, Charity bashes in Chiswick, The Grey Horse in Kingston and so on. Our drummer was unable to turn up to a gig at The Half Moon. I panicked and phoned Willie. “Don’t worry son”, he said “I’ll get us someone”. He turned up with the great Mickey Waller (Jeff Beck Band, Rod Stewart etc etc). He knew, played and mixed with a lot of so called “mega stars”, but he was always just “good old Willie”. He’ll probably be “jazzing” it up with Charlie Watts right now. RIP old friend and blessings to his family.

  2. Michael Eagleton October 18, 2021

    Sincere sympathy from all at Marlow Jazz Club. We had many great nights over many years with Willie and his Big Band. We hope the band might continue in some form, as a tribute.

  3. Mike Barnes November 5, 2021

    I am so very sad to hear of Willie passing away. He was a lovely, kind and generous man and an inspiration to many starting out on their musical journey. As well as being a great musician, he was also an excellent sax repair man, probably one of the best in the business. His knowledge and love of the King Super 20 saxophones was legendary. Condolences to all of his family at this very sad time, he will be greatly missed. RIP Willie.

    1. US day News November 5, 2021

      We are all heartbroken about Willie Garnett’s death. He was a legend in music. He will rest in paradise.

  4. Alan Slater November 11, 2021

    I was a detective in the Met Police when I met Willie who overhauled my mark 6 tenor at my mate Don Mackrill”s music shop in Hammersmith.Sadly Don also passed away on 27th August. Both Willie and Don were two of the nicest men in the music business that I have ever met. We would often have drink in the Coach and Horses pub in Hammersmith. Willie had a great sense of humour and was a brilliant musician. Both these lovely guys will be sadly missed and I send my condolences to their families


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