McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner

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March 6, 2020 (Age 81) died

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Birthplace

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McCoy Tyner was an influential jazz pianist and composer with a career spanning from the 1960s through the 2000s. He was a member of the renowned John Coltrane Quartet from 1960 to 1965. After leaving Coltrane, Tyner went on to lead his own groups, releasing over 70 albums as leader. During his long career he worked with musicians including Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, and Bobby Hutcherson among others. McCoy Tyner was a 2002 NEA Jazz Master and a five-time Grammy winner. He died at the age of 81 in 2020.


When McCoy Tyner was young teen, Bud Powell would come over to his house to practice because Powell did not have a piano. In addition to the piano, Tyner can be heard playing koto, flute, percussion, harpsichord and celeste on his various recordings. Tyner was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.

Early Life

McCoy Tyner was born and raised in Philadelphia, and grew up down the street from jazz musicians Bud and Richie Powell. Tyner was the oldest of 3 children and began playing the piano at age 13. By high school he was playing professionally around Philadelphia. He studied at the West Philadelphia Music School and later at the Granoff School of Music. In 1959 he joined a group called the Jazztet, led by Art Farmer and Benny Golson. Six months later, he joined John Coltrane's Quartet.