Cornell Dupree, (December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011). R&B and jazz guitarist.

Cornell Dupree was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he grew up with R&B saxophonist King Curtis. At the age of 19, he moved to New York City to join Curtis and played guitar alongside the young, then unknown Jimi Hendrix. During the 1960’s, he became a session guitarist for Atlantic Records, where he played on countless soul classics, including Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. He toured with Franklin for several years and recorded with James Brown, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Mariah Carey, and Miles Davis. One of his bands even opened for the Beatles.

With Jimi Hendrix and Wilson Pickett

In the 1970’s, Dupree was one of the original members of the band for Saturday Night Live. He also was a founding member of the all-star jazz/funk group Stuff, which included keyboardist Richard Tee, fellow guitarist Eric Gale, and drummer Steve Gadd. Although he was primarily known for his R&B work, his style originated from Texas bluesmen and encompassed funk, country, and even straight ahead jazz. He released 10 solo albums and appeared on over 2,500 recordings as a sideman or session player. He also led the groups The Bayou Buddies and Cornell Dupree’s Soul Survivors, featuring pianist Les McCann and bass player Jerry Jemmott. Dupree had been diagnosed with emphysema and was awaiting a lung transplant at the time of his death. He died in his hometown of Ft. Worth at the age of 68.

Visit his official website: www.cornelldupree.com

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