The Final Farewell to Jazz Pianist and Composer Randy Cannon

by | Nov 22, 2019 | Articles

Pianist and composer, Randy Cannon, has passed away last night in Bangkok after a short illness. He was 61 years old. Randy had entertained audiences for almost two decades at the Bangkok’s renowned jazz venue “The Living Room”. He collaborated with many visiting and local musicians, including his brother, a trumpet player Steve Cannon.

For those wishing to pay their respects, the Buddhist funeral ceremony will be held for Randy today (November 22) at 4:30 pm at Wat That Thong (the temple right next to the Ekammai BTS). He will lie at the temple for the following seven days.

About Randy Cannon

He had a long and fruitful career, as he began his studies at the age of 5, being classically trained and mentored by noted pianist/musical coach Ms. Lin Carlson in southern California. During his early years, Randy studied, memorized and performed a wide array of musical compositions by many of the great classical composers. He also competed in numerous national competitions affiliated with the National Fraternity of Student Musicians of America.

After unknowingly composing his first song at age 14 and looking for an answer to what he was doing, he discovered jazz improvisation and committed himself to learning the art. He was able to study with George Shearing alumni Charlie Shoemake and many great Los Angeles based pianists such as Alan Broadbent, Bill Mays and Terry Trotter.

Randy began his professional performance career at age 17, performing throughout California with numerous combos, big bands, and orchestras. By age 19, Randy accepted a position as music director, conductor, and pianist with Princess Cruises. On and off for the next 12 years, he travelled the world in this capacity.

In his early twenties, Randy accepted a series of performances in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he ended up residing for over six years. His years in Hawaii saw him performing with many entertainers such as George Benson, jazz harmonica player Toots Thielemans and saxophonist David Liebman.

Moving back to Los Angeles, California in his late twenties Randy worked with many of the cities top jazz players such as Billy Higgins, Harvey Mason, John and Jeff Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, saxophonist Harold Land, Tony Dumas, Ralph Penland, Andy Simpkins, and Jake Hanna to name a few. He also acted and performed for many of Hollywood’s top movie and television studios, appearing on top shows such as ABC television’s “Hotel” and “Love Boat”. He also appeared on and provided original music for Orion Picture “No Man’s Land” starring Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.

Teaming up with his childhood jazz teacher Charlie Shoemake, Randy recorded Charlie’s album “Stand Up Guys” with jazz sax legend Harold Land. This recording led to a west coast tour bringing the team to Portland, Oregon where they met and performed with jazz drummer extraordinaire Mel Brown and bassist legend Leroy Vinegar who both welcomed Randy with open arms.

Randy ended up moving to Portland and lived there for 10 years. During his years in Portland, he performed with virtually every notable musician and in every jazz venue in the area. This included the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, the Britt Festival with world-renowned jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, jazz vocalist extraordinaire Mark Murphy, Windjam Northwest, Cathedral Park Jazz Festival with the legendary Les McCann and Leroy Vinegar, and the Portland Rose Festival to name a few.

From 1995 through 1999 Randy collaborated with internationally acclaimed vocalist/producer and recording artist Gino Vanelli on various international recording projects alongside many of the top musical names in the music industry. During that time Randy also expanded into the realm of record producing, writing, arranging, and performing on three more CD projects. The first of these was “Nowhere Man” for his brother, trumpeter Steve Cannon, and two more projects for Portland Oregon based saxophonists Renato Curanto and Patrick Lamb.

In late 1999 Randy’s music took him to south-east Asia with performances in Thailand, China, the Phillippines, and Singapore.

In 2000 Randy met the jazz lover/hotel General Manager Bruno Huber who introduced Randy to Thailands music lovers booking him for 2 years at the renowned Sundowner’s Lounge at The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel.

In 2002 Randy met the renowned hotelier and jazz lover Richard Chapman who has provided him with his long-time musical home in the renown “Living Room” at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok. (source: Randy Cannon website).

An interview with Randy, done by a Thai TV station.