According to an article published today by the Arizona Daily Star, jazz pianist and former St. Louisan Lloyd Bartlett (pictured) has died of natural causes at age 85.
Bartlett moved from St. Louis to Tuscon, Arizona "about a dozen years ago," the article said, and had continued to perform solo and with local groups including the Big Band Express until just a few days before his death.
Lloyd Bartlett began his career as a professional musician in St. Louis at age 17. Over the years, he played all the typical gigs of a working local musician - weddings, parties, corporate events, lounges, restaurants, and so on - but also backed many touring headliners on their visits to St. Louis, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Liberace, Debbie Reynolds, Ann-Margret, Henny Youngman, Johnny Carson and Red Buttons. Bartlett also played with bands fronted by Tex Beneke, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby and Lester Lanin, and spent eight years at performing at singer/actress Martha Raye's club in Miami.
The father of three also taught piano to several generations of St. Louis music students, including, for a couple of years in the 1970s, yr. humble StLJN editor (who, though far from an exemplary student, remains grateful to this day for Bartlett's extensive knowledge and general affability.)
A memorial service for Lloyd Bartlett will be held at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 27 at the St. Thomas Chapel, 5150 N. Valley View Road in Tuscon. For more about his life and work, read the complete article.
Photo of Lloyd Bartlett from www.bigbandexpress.net.