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Iconic American Jazz Drummer Dies Of Leukemia



Albert “Tootie” Heath

Albert “Tootie” Heath, a legendary American jazz drummer who played with many notable legends, has reportedly tragically died during his battle with leukemia at the age of 88. The legend played with other legends such as John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Nina Simone.

He reportedly lost his battle with cancer on April 3rd, 2024, though news of his death is just finally beginning to circulate. He died in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Albert’s two brothers, Jimmy Heath and Percy Heath, were also musicians. All born to the same parents in Philadelphia during the 1920s. They would spend their adolescence in the midst of the Great Depression, an extremely trying time for America. reports on this legendary drummer’s death,

In 1975, Heath joined his brothers, along with pianist Stanley Cowell (1941–2020), to form the jazz ensemble Heath Brothers. They played together on and off through the 2000s. Albert was the last surviving brother. He also recorded a string of solo albums, including 1973’s “Kwanza (The First),” which also featured Jimmy and Percy Heath, among other musicians. 

Heath’s nickname, “Tootie,” came from his grandfather, who gave him the name due to Albert’s love of tutti-frutti ice cream. Heath earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America and was named a


Making his recording debut in 1957, Heath was a legend in regards to his studio performances. The first album Heath recorded on was John Coltrane’s first album. He would record with Coltrane again in 1961.

Whenever we lose an important musical influence, especially someone with the storied history of Heath, it is a tremendous tragedy. We pray that he was able to pass away peacefully.

Cancer continues to be a non-discriminating menace. A serpent that lies in the grass seemingly ready to pounce on all of us at some point or another. Luckily, we were able to experience this legendary musician’s career before he was cut down by the ruthless disease.

Rest in peace, legend!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dorothy Gilmore

    April 6, 2024 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you SlingShot.News for all you do, bringing such informative news.

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