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Joe Rigby RIP

Saxophonist and educator Rigby worked with Milford Graves, Don Pullen and Arthur Doyle, among other projects

US musician Joe Rigby died on 16 July. Primarily a saxophonist, Rigby worked with Milford Graves on and off since the 1960s.

Born in 1940 in Harlem, New York, he became a fan of R&B and played the piano for pop group The Chantels. He turned to improvisation after hearing John Coltrane with The Miles Davis Sextet. An early job with Graves saw him play alongside Don Pullen, Arthur Williams, Hugh Glover and Arthur Doyle. In 1969 Rigby became president of the Black Students’ Union of Bronx Community College. He played with Steve Reid’s The Master Brotherhood, Ted Daniel’s Third World Energy Ensemble, Charles Tyler’s New World Ensemble, and others. In 1978 he led his own group Dynasty. In 1997, Graves, Glover and Rigby performed at New York’s Vision Festival. To finance his music career and support his family he undertook many jobs, from postal worker to taxi driver, and for 14 years taught music for the New York Board of Education until he retired in 2004.