Jeff Healey


Jeff Healey

Infobox musical artist
Name = Jeff Healey


Img_capt = Jeff Healey in Peterborough, Ontario in 2007
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Norman Jeffrey Healey
Alias =
Born = Birth date|1966|3|25|df=yes
Died = death date and age|2008|3|2|1966|3|25|df=yes
Origin = Toronto, Ontario
Instrument = Vocals, guitar, trumpet
Voice_type =
Genre = Jazz, blues, rock, dixieland
Occupation = Musician, singer-songwriter, disc jockey
Years_active = 1983–2008
Label = Arista, Stony Plain
Associated_acts = Blue Direction
The Jazz Wizards
URL = [http://www.jeffhealey.com/ www.jeffhealey.com]
Notable_instruments = Fender Stratocaster

Jeff Healey (born Norman Jeffrey Healey, March 25 1966 – March 2 2008) was a Canadian jazz and blues-rock guitarist and vocalist.

Life and career

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jeff Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant [cite web|url= http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=3dca3ea3-135f-4c48-9ac9-1a728448f100|title= Award-winning musician 'followed his own passion'|accessdate= 2008-03-08|author= Jessey Bird|date= 2008-03-03|publisher= Ottawa Citizen] ; his adoptive father was a firefighter. Healey lost his sight when he was eight months old to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. After living cancer-free for 38 years, he subsequently developed sarcoma in his legs; despite surgery for this, the sarcoma spread to his lungs and ultimately was the cause of his death.cite news|title= 'Angel Eyes' singer Healey dead at 41|url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/03/obit.healey.ap/index.html |publisher=Associated Press |date= 2008-03-03|accessdate=2008-03-03]

Healey began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 17, he formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece band which primarily played bar-band cover tunes. Among the other musicians were bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern.

Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio and made their first public appearance at The Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago's Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. The new band received a write-up in Toronto's "NOW" magazine, and quickly were playing almost nightly in local clubs such as Grossman's Tavern and the famed blues club Albert's Hall (where Jeff Healey was discovered by guitar virtuosos Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins).

After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album "See The Light", featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a "Best Instrumental" Grammy Award. While the band was recording "See The Light", they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film "Road House". In 1990 the band won the "Entertainer of the Year" Juno Award. Other hits have included "How Long Can a Man Be Strong" and a cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (which also featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar).

By the release of the 2000 album "Get Me Some", Healey had grown weary of the world of rock music, and began to concentrate his considerable talents in a direction closer to his heart, hot jazz.

He went on to release three CDs of music from this true passion, traditional American jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. He was an avid record collector and amassed a collection of well over 30,000 78 rpm records and he had been sitting in with traditional jazz bands around Toronto since the beginning of his music career. Though known primarily as a guitarist, Healey also played trumpet during live performances.

Healey had, from time to time, hosted a CBC Radio program entitled "My Kind of Jazz", in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection. He hosted a program with a similar name on Toronto jazz station CJRT-FM, also known as JAZZ.FM91.

He had also been touring with his other group, 'The Jazz Wizards', playing the aforementioned American 'hot' jazz. At the time of his death, they had been planning to perform a series of shows in Britain, Germany and Holland in April 2008.

For many years Healey performed at his club, "Healey's" on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where he played with a rock band on Thursday nights, and with his jazz group, on Saturday afternoons. The club moved to a bigger location at 56 Blue Jays Way and it was rechristened "Jeff Healey's Roadhouse". (Though he had lent his name and often played there, Jeff Healey did not own or manage the bar.)

Over the years he toured and sat-in with many legendary performers, including, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many, many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD "Gillan's Inn".

Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other artists, including Amanda Marshall and Terra Hazelton.

On January 11 2007, Healey underwent surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the previous eighteen months he had two sarcomas removed from his legs. [ [http://www.cbc.ca/arts/music/story/2007/01/16/healey-cancer-surgery.html CBC.ca: Blues guitarist Jeff Healey recovering from lung cancer surgery] Accessed 2007-01-16]

Death

On March 2 2008 Healey died of cancer [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7275162.stm "Blind rocker Healey dies aged 41"] , BBC News, March 3 2008] at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto; he was 41. [cite news |title= Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey dies at 41|url=http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080302/jeff_healey_080302/20080302?hub=TopStories |format= |work= |publisher= CTV News|date=2008-03-00 |accessdate=2008-03-03 ] His death came a month before the release of his new album, "Mess of Blues", which was his first rock album in 8 years.

Healey is survived by his wife and two children.cite web|url= http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/arts/music/04healey.html?ref=music|title= Jeff Healey, Guitarist and Singer, Dies at 41|accessdate= 2008-03-08|author= Douglas Martin|date= 2008-03-04|publisher= New York Times]

Discography

*1988: "See the Light"
*1989: "Road House Soundtrack"
*1990: "Hell to Pay"
*1992: "Feel This"
*1995: "Cover to Cover"
*2000: "Get Me Some"
*2002: "Among Friends"
*2003: "Live At Healey's"
*2004: "Adventures in Jazzland"
*2005: "The Jeff Healey Band Live at Montreux 1999"
*2006: "It's Tight Like That"
*2008: "Mess of Blues"

ee also

*Canadian blues
*Canadian rock
*Music of Canada

References

External links

* [http://www.jeffhealey.com/ Jeff Healey] official website
* [http://www.jeffhealeysroadhouse.com/ Jeff Healey's Roadhouse]
* [http://www.canadianbands.com/Jeff%20Healey.html Jeff Healey biography] at CanadianBands.com
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/arts/music/04healey.html NY Times Obituary]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7275162.stm BBC News Item announcing Healey's death]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article3482918.ece Obituary in "The Times"]


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