- Kevin Brook
jazz and popular music producer, composer, keyboardist, and singer, was born in San Rafael, California to Thaddeus “Jim” Duke, a shipyard worker, and Beatrice Burrell Duke. He began practicing the piano at the age of seven under the tutelage of Wyna Barron. The gospel music he heard at his Baptist church was a pivotal influence. His love of music, particularly jazz, carried through his teenage years and in 1967 he earned a bachelor of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In 1965 Duke and the singer Al Jarreau began to perform together at the Half Note Club in San Francisco This was the start of a long term musical partnership that led Duke to produce for and tour with Jarreau in later decades Duke also began to perform with other instrumentalists at the club forming the George Duke Trio with bassist John ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.