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Who is Phil Schaap's wife? Grammy-winning jazz DJ dies at 70

The cause of Phil Schaap's death was not immediately available
Phil Schaap died on September 7 (Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Phil Schaap died on September 7 (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Jazz connoisseur and Grammy-winning reissue producer Phil Schaap passed away on Tuesday, September 7. He was 70 years old. A Twitter user who claimed to be his cousin broke the news of his demise on Wednesday, September 8. "My cousin Phil Schaap died last night. I loved him like crazy, will miss him beyond measure, and wish he could tell me one more wild story about Papa Jo Jones. BIRD LIVES! In my heart, so does Phil, " the statement said. The cause of Phil's death was not immediately available.

The jazz disc jockey has hosted jazz shows on the Columbia University WKCR since 1970. Currently, he hosted 'Bird Flight' and 'Traditions In Swing' since 1981. We have reported the demise of many great musicians in recent months. Johnny Ventura, Biz Markie, Sound Sultan, Robert Eugene Steinhardt are to name a few.


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Schaap's home radio station, posted an obituary that read, "It is with a heavy heart that WKCR mourns Phil Schaap, who passed away yesterday evening at the age of 70. For over 50 years, Phil has been an irreplaceable presence at the station. The mentorship that he has provided students as an educator has helped shape a new generation of jazz historians and appreciators, and his impact will be felt for decades to come." The statement further added, "Phil was unquestionably a giant in the jazz community. This past year he was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment of the Arts, and throughout his distinguished career has been awarded six Grammys and numerous other honors."

Who is Phil Schaap's wife?

Phil Schaap married Ellen LaFurn in 1997. LaFurn returned to her former passion of singing jazz professionally after retiring as a schoolteacher. It was not immediately clear if the couple had any kids together. 

'RIP Phil'

Fans flooded Twitter with messages of condolence for the jazz star. One person tweeted, "Seeing reports that Phil Schaap has passed on. Growing up in NYC and listening to him expound on Charlie Parker's oeuvre and the whole history of jazz helped my mind grow so much. It was him in the morning and Stretch and Bobbito at night. May he rest in peace."

Another wrote, "Rest, Phil. You did so much. All your joy. Love of the music. You made us aware. You filled the world with song -- Bird song, jazz song. Friends for 50 years; I never knew anyone like you. There's only one Phil Schaap. I won't forget. Piggybacks on Broadway. Smile."

One tweet read, "Phil Schaap was inspiring. I admit to sometimes getting anxious, even annoyed, when I just wanted to hear the music he was talking about at length. But his virtuosic broadcasts were really acts of generosity based on close listening and total devotion to his subject."

Another fan tweeted, "God this sucks. RIP Phil Schaap. NYC will never have a radio host as dedicated to the craft or willing to do the homework. His Lester Young birthday broadcasts were my favorite. I’m sorry that you had to talk me off the phone when I would call and be overly enthusiastic. Fuck."