Legendary Danish jazz musician dead

Bassist Hugo Rasmussen was 74 years old

The world-renowned Danish jazz musician Hugo Rasmussen has succumbed to cancer. He was 74 years old.

Rasmussen spent his final days in a hospice in Frederiksberg. Even so, his death came as a surprise to his friends and family.

“He died at 22:45 last night,” pianist Carsten Dahl told Ekstra Bladet. “What started as prostate cancer spread quickly.”

Dahl said Rasmussen was like a father to him. “I loved him more than anything on earth,” he said.

Rasmussen was admitted to hospital three weeks ago and was then transferred to the hospice just last week

“I thought he had ten more years, but it was as if he was saying he had nothing left to give,” said Dahl.

A workhorse until the end
The legendary bassist with his trademark long reddish-grey beard was a mainstay on the Danish music scene for over 50 years. He was involved in over 1,000 recordings, ranging from children’s and folk music to blues and, of course, jazz.

“He tied the major Danish musical genres together,” said Dahl. “He was the kit!”

Along with Danish artists, Rasmussen also played with international names such as Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon.

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The bassist remained active almost until the end – during this year’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival, he played 23 concerts during the festival’s 10 days.