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Indian jazz legend Carlton Kitto dies at 74

Acclaimed jazz musician Carlton Kitto dies after a prolonged illness

Kolkata: Acclaimed jazz musician Carlton Kitto died here on Monday after a prolonged illness, professional associates said. He was 74.

The guitarist's death was confirmed by Calcutta School of Music's President Dickoo Nowroji. 

Kitto used to teach jazz at the school, said Nowroji. He collaborated with jazz legends like Sonny Rollins, Chico Freeman, Charlie Byrd, and Indian musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Louis Banks.

The Bebop jazz guitarist had also played for Queen Elizabeth.

Born in Bengaluru (then Bangalore) in 1942, Kitto started his career in Chennai and moved to Kolkata in the 1970s, and became a part of the band Jazz Ensemble in Moulin Rouge, a celebrated restaurant in posh Park Street.

After sometime, he played in another well-known restaurant Mocambo (and subsequently in other places) and taught jazz and classical guitar at the Calcutta School of Music in the 1990s.

Nowroji said the school plans to do a commemorative programme next month as a tribute to Kitto, who spent the last days of his life in a dingy apartment in Alimuddin Street.

Cyrus Oshidar, MD of, who made the documentary short "Carlton Kitto: The Last of Kolkata's Jazz Legends" about the jazz icon condoled his death on Facebook. “Today we say goodbye to one of the last Jazz legends of our country.  #RIPCarltonKitto,” Oshidar said.