Vancouver Jazz Fest founder Ken Pickering dies after cancer battle

Ken Pickering, the co-founder and longtime artistic director of the renowned Vancouver International Jazz Festival, has died.

His partner Christine Medina broke the news on Facebook, saying Pickering had stopped cancer treatments recently and passed away peacefully Friday morning.

“I lost the love of my life, my soulmate, my everything, my dear sweet Ken in the early hours of this morning,” Medina wrote.

“Sadly the cancer had spread to the point where treatment was no longer possible. Please know that he was supported with absolute clear love as he transitioned and was peaceful and accepting with tremendous grace.”

Pickering helped launch the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society in 1985. As presenter of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the society has showcased groundbreaking musicians in jazz and many other disciplines for more than three decades at venues all over downtown.

It became the biggest not-for-profit music presenter in B.C.

Tributes and condolences have poured in from around the music world.

Jazz pianist Paul Plimley wrote that Pickering was an “amazing human being who had the greatest love for music, people and life itself …

“Vancouver has been changed forever with Black Swan records starting in 1975 and even more so, the Vancouver Intl Jazz Festival, which had its debut in 1985. We’ll always remember Ken with love and affection. He did so much for many thousands of musicians.”

Rest in peace @ken_pickering, longtime director of the Vancouver Jazz Festival and Coastal Jazz and Blues Society — a passionate, knowledgable, and tireless advocate for creative music, and one of the kindest, most generous, most genuine individuals I have ever encountered.

— Darcy James Argue (@darcyjamesargue) August 11, 2018

Medina asked for privacy while she deals with the loss. She said a celebration of Pickering’s life will be planned at a later date.

Read more on Ken Pickering’s life and legacy from Stuart Derdeyn later this weekend.

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment


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