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Bennett Morgan, a veteran jazz agent who booked and represented such legends as Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Eartha Kitt and Rosemary Clooney, has died. He was 85.
Morgan died May 31 in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., his wife of 31 years, Becky, announced.
In 1971, Morgan became a principal at New York-based Sutton Artists Agency, where he booked the likes of Brubeck, Puente, Gillespie, Erroll Garner, Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Les McCann, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Monty Alexander, Ramsey Lewis, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, the Dukes of Dixieland and Count Basie.
In 1989, he formed Bennett Morgan & Associates and added such artists as Kitt, Clooney, John Pizzarelli, Tierney Sutton, Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson to his roster. He retired in 2009.
A native of Philadelphia, Morgan graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He played the accordion and piano and managed local bands.
He attended the Temple School of Pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist for a spell before going full-time into the music industry, forming The Bennett Morgan Agency in his hometown in the late ‘60s and booking acts in pop, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and comedy.
Survivors also include his children Rob, Guy, Eve, Ted, Bunney, Brandon and Brigitte, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Donations in his name may be made to the Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra via a check to Shaut Music Llc., 5 Saw Mill Road, Lake Katrine, NY 12449.
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