Randolph Edward “Randy” Weston (April 6, 1926 – September 1, 2018 NY, NY) was an American jazz pianist and composer whose creativity was inspired by his ancestral African connection.
Weston’s piano style owed much to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, whom he cited in a 2018 video as among pianists he counted as influences, as well as Count Basie, Nat King Cole and Earl Hines. Beginning in the 1950s, Weston worked often with trombonist and arranger Melba Liston.
Described as “America’s African Musical Ambassador”, he once said: “What I do I do because it’s about teaching and informing everyone about our most natural cultural phenomenon. It’s really about Africa and her music.