Jazz singer Rita Reys dies at 88

The Netherlands best known jazz singer Rita Reys died at the weekend. She was 88 years old.

Reys performed with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Griffin, Art Blakey and Lester Young during her 70-year career. In the early 1960s she won a jazz festival in France and was named Europe’s First Lady of Jazz.

She won six Edisons, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy, for her albums and the prestigious Bird Award for her contribution to jazz.

Reys was married twice: to jazz drummer Wessel Ilcken and to jazz pianist Pim Jacobs.

Her final performance was on July 6 in a sold-out North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam.


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