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Bill Lee, Jazz Bassist and Father of Filmmaker Spike Lee Passes Away at 94

Bill Lee, a Jazz Bassist and father of renowned filmmaker Spike Lee passed away at his home in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning at the age of 94. His death was confirmed by Spike Lee in an Instagram post. The cause of death was not specified.

Bill played Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, and Dule Ellington. As a session bassist he also played on albums by Odetta, Woody Guthrie, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, John Lee Hooker and many others.

Lee shared a series of black and white portraits of his father captured by his brother David Charles Lee.

Bill Lee wrote the soundtracks for Spike Lee’s initial movies, “She’s Gotta Have It” (1985), “School Daze” (1988), and “Mo’ Better Blues” (1990).

The late Bill Lee was a well-known jazz musician in Atlanta and Chicago.

Bill Lee is survived by his sons, Spike, Kaplan, David, Cinque, and Arnold; a daughter Clifton, and two grandchildren.

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Written by Aliyah Collins