R.I.P. Motown keyboardist Jackie Ivory

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    (August 21, 2013) Jackie Ivory, a soul and jazz piano and organ player, who worked as a sideman with fellow long time South Bend, Indiana resident and Motown star Junior Walker, has died. He was 76 years old.

    Ivory passed away early Tuesday morning after a sudden illness. Ivory was born in Blyhteville, Ark., and moved to South Bend with his family as a youth. Ivory was  a self-taught musician who also took formal lessons. Soon, he became a familiar figure on South Bend’s music scene before joining the army.

    (August 21, 2013) Jackie Ivory, a soul and jazz piano and organ player, who worked as a sideman with fellow long time South Bend, Indiana resident and Motown star Junior Walker, has died. He was 76 years old.

    Ivory passed away early Tuesday morning after a sudden illness. Ivory was born in Blyhteville, Ark., and moved to South Bend with his family as a youth. Ivory was  a self-taught musician who also took formal lessons. Soon, he became a familiar figure on South Bend’s music scene before joining the army.

    Ivory released his first album, Soul Discovery, in 1965. Ivory spent the 1960s and 70s as a sideman for artists such as Walker and Willis “Gator” Jackson. He moved to Oakland in the mid-1970s, and remained on the west coast for all  two decades  and continuing to release albums before returning to South Bend in the late 1990s.  Ivory spent the last decade of his life immersing himself  South Bend’s live music scene. Ivory hosted a open mic night a several area clubs with friend and fellow musician Mike Vascari.

    He continued to play in bands often performing with friend and fellow Motown alum Bill “Stick” Nicks.  Ivory performed and entertained audiences until the end.  According to Visacari, Ivory played gigs at several South Bend night spots over the weekend, and many in the crowd commented on how good he sounded. He will be missed.

    By Howard Dukes

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