Cultural Percussionist

Percy Heath Day

Percy Heath (April 30, 1923 – April 28, 2005) was an American jazz bassist, brother of saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975. Heath played with the Modern Jazz Quartet throughout their long history and also worked with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery, and Thelonious Monk.

Heath was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and spent his childhood in Philadelphia. His father played the clarinet and his mother sang in the church choir. He started playing violin at the age of eight and also sang locally. He was drafted into the Army in 1944, becoming a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, but saw no combat.

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