Jaki Liebezeit has died of pneumonia at the age of 78.
The influential Can drummer, a pioneer in the creation of the band’s famous ‘Krautrock’ sound, passed away peacefully in his home on January 22nd.
Born in Dresden in 1938, Liebezeit was trained as a jazz drummer before his genre-defining avant garde work with Can. His distinctive ‘rhythmic psychedelia’ saw him collaborate widely, and with luminaries such as Chet Baker, Brian Eno and Burnt Friedman. In an interview for Red Bull Music Academy’s Fireside Chats series, Liebezeit once said of electronic music: ”It turned me on very much… This is the first time you hear some music which does not come from the United States.”
Tributes to Jaki Liebezeit have poured in from around the music world, with Cedric Bixler-Zavala tweeting: “All roads of drumming eventually lead to Jaki Liebezeit. Your approach was contagious RIP.”
— CEDRIC BIXLER ZAVALA (@cedricbixler_) January 22, 2017
Absolutely gutted to hear my dear friend Jaki Liebezeit has passed. Wonderful person and best European drummer. King of Saxony lebewohl!!!
— Jah Wobble (@realjahwobble) January 22, 2017