Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., known around the world as Dr. John, has passed away at the age of 77, reportedly dying of a heart attack after several years of declining health.
In a statement released through his publicist, the family said that Dr John died “toward the break of day” of a heart attack. They did not say where he died or give other details.
Such was his renown that he performed at the White House and at a Super Bowl and a tribute concert in his honour at the Saenger Theatre during the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival featured Bruce Springsteen as one of the special guests (singing ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’). Others who performed that night included John Fogerty, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mavis Staples, Jimmie Vaughan, Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell, Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell and local legends Toussaint, Aaron and Cyril Neville, Irma Thomas, Terence Blanchard.
Rebennack was touring as recently as 2017 and played several shows on a tour marking the 40th anniversary of The Band’s “Last Waltz” farewell concert (he was part of the original Last Waltz). The 2017 Jazz Fest, where he performed on the main Acura Stage, was his final jazz Fest appearance. He had not been seen in public much since late 2017, when he cancelled several gigs. According to his publicist he had been resting at his New Orleans area home
Memorial arrangements were being planned. “The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey, and requests privacy at this time,” the statement said.