Jazz Summers, Manager for Wham!, Snow Patrol and La Roux, Dies at 71
He died after a two-year battle with lung cancer.
Legendary artist manager Jazz Summers, whose client roster included Wham!, Snow Patrol, The Verve and La Roux, has died after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 71.
"The music industry has lost one of its most vibrant, most notorious and most brilliant characters," U.K.-based Big Life Management posted on its website on Saturday, Aug. 15. "A champion of new music, a non-conformist and a visionary, Jazz Summers will be greatly missed."
Heartbroken to hear that my friend and ex manager Jazz Summers has passed away. He was a formidable force of nature! A fighter till the end— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) August 15, 2015
Summers and Tim Parry founded Big Life Management in 1986. The pair also ran Big Life Records, which released music from such artists as The Orb, Yazz, Coldcut, De La Soul and The Soup Dragons.
Summers was also the manager for Lisa Stansfield, Soul II Soul, Badly Drawn Boy, Klaxons, Scissor Sisters and London Grammar, among others.
Big Life describes Summers as a "master of artist development" and "an expert in the American market." His artists have sold more than 60 albums and 72 million singles around the world, including more than 100 top 40 hits in the past 40 years, according to the company. Read the Big Life's full statement here.
Summers was awarded the Peter Grant Award in 2003 and the Strat Award at the Music Week Awards in 2007. He also served as chairman for the Music Managers' Forum and was vocal in such artist-related issues as the extension of copyright, secondary ticketing and VPL. Additionally, he helped set up nonprofit organizations Featured Artists' Coalition and Julie's Bicycle.
His autobiography, Big Life, was published in 2013.
Born in 1944, Summers enrolled in military school at age 12 and joined the army three years later. He served in Hong Kong and Malaysia, where he was a radiographer.
Summers is survived by his wife, Dianna; his daughters Katie, Rio and Georgia; his granddaughters Claire, Lila and Rose; and his brother Don.
The manager was remembered on social media by several artists and other music industry figures following his passing. Read their tributes below.
I'm not sure if this is the medium to be sad, but we are. We've lost a good friend. Thank you Jazz Summers for your guidance and friendship.— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) August 15, 2015
RIP Jazz Summers. Thanks for being a true manager when we desperately needed one...and above that a decent man.— Del Marquis (@DelMarquis) August 15, 2015
Jazz Summers RIP pic.twitter.com/gKMY01La1t— Killing Joke (@Killingjokeband) August 15, 2015
R:Jazz Summers meant the world to the four of us. He had a huge heart and was full of vital energy to always make things happen. RIP,Jazz.— The Futureheads (@thefutureheads) August 15, 2015
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.