Bill Lee, acclaimed jazz musician and father of Spike Lee, dies aged 94

Bill Lee, acclaimed jazz musician and father of Spike Lee, dies aged 94

Bill Lee has died at the age of 94.

The acclaimed jazz musician, and father of Spike Lee, died on Wednesday at his home in Brooklyn.

The noted director, 66, confirmed the sad news on Instagram, commending his late dad’s incredible career.

‘My Father, BILL LEE Played Bass On BOB DYLAN’S Classic Song IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE On His Album BRINGING IT ALL HOME,’ he wrote, shedding light on a poignant day for the family.

‘This Morning May 24th My Father Made His Transition. Today Is Also The Birthdate Of BOB DYLAN.

‘Today Is Also The Birthdate Of Jackson Lewis Lee Who Is The Son Of Tonya Lewis Lee And Me, Brother Of Satchel Lee, And The Grandson Of Daddy.’

‘Also Must Give Love To Our Sista TINA TURNER Who Left Us Today On This May 24th,2023. WHEW LAWD. What A Day,’ Spike added.

‘Da Lee Family Appreciations All Da 💜💜💜, Your Heartfelt Condolences.’

Bill’s cause of death has not been confirmed.

Followers and famous faces shared their condolences below the post, offering their support to the Lee family.

‘Your father’s work has made my life sweeter with every listen,’ a fan said.

‘Spike, may your father’s memory be a blessing, always,’ one posted. ‘He was a talented man, and I thank him – and you all – for his contribution to this world.

‘You are one of his contributions, too.’

An Instagram user penned: ‘Spike I’m so very sorry for this loss and eternally grateful for all the things your father brought to all of us in his lifetime — you included!’

‘Dear Spike, what a beautiful post and tribute. You look so much like your dad. Thinking of you,’ a commenter wrote.

Lenny Kravitz simply added a heart emoji.

Bill commanded an incredible career spanning several decades and went on to perform bass for some of the biggest names in music, including Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens.

He famously accompanied Bob Dylan on his classic hit, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue, from his 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home.

As well as this, he collaborated with his son and wrote the soundtracks to some of Spike’s first films – She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do The Right Thing and Mo Better Blues.

Spike credited his dad for teaching him about music, in a candid chat with the Times in 1990.

‘Everything I know about jazz I got from my father,’ he said. ‘I saw his integrity, how he was not going to play just any kind of music, no matter how much money he could make.’

Bill is survived by his wife, Susan Kaplan, and children Spike, David, Joie, Cinque and Arnold, and two grandchildren.

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