Barbara Morrison, legendary singer in the jazz and blues community of Los Angeles, has died. She was 72 years old.
Morrison died on Wednesday March 16, according to her brother Richard Morrison. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“We are working to keep the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center open to preserve my sister’s legacy,” Richard Morrison said in a statement, referring to the Los Angeles-area facility his sister founded in 2009.
Born in a suburb of Detroit in 1949, Morrison moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s at the age of 21 and went on to perform alongside legendary musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Etta James, Nancy Wilson and Dr. John.
She has also released solo music during her six-decade career, including albums I know how to do it (1996) and Come see me (1999).
In addition to being a fixture in Southern California jazz clubs, Morrison has also performed at numerous jazz music festivals around the world, as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Times reports.
In addition to performing, Morrison has dedicated his life to building the Los Angeles music community and nurturing emerging talent. In 2009 she opened the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park. Two years later, she founded the California Jazz & Blues Museum in the same neighborhood.
Morrison was also an associate professor of jazz studies at UCLA. The university recently launched the Barbara Morrison Scholarship for Jazz.
She is survived by her brother, Richard Morrison; two sisters, Pamela Morrison-Kersey and Armetta Morrison; and 10 nieces and nephews.
Flowers and donations will be received at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, located at 4305 Degnan Blvd. #101, Los Angeles, CA 9008.