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Terry Callier passes away

It was with extreme sadness this weekend that we learnt of the passing of the great Terry Callier, on Saturday 27th October in hospital with his family in Chicago, USA, at the age of 67.

We had the pleasure of working with him on six albums over the course of eight years from 2001 to 2009.  His live performances will stand in history as life changing to many. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Terry's family and his fans worldwide.

His funeral will take place in Chicago on Saturday 3rd of November.

A memorial is being planned in London - we will announce the date as soon as we know.

May you rest in peace forever Terry.

"I first worked with Terry when recording him at the Jazz Cafe [Camden, London] in the late 90's. This was a spiritual home for Terry's fans; most nights that he played you could hear a pin drop when he sang and many people passed out, overwhelmed by the light that shone from him.  It was so much more than a concert, it was a spiritual experience with Terry and his audience as one.

On the other hand, his sense of humour was such that after having cried our eyes out, he would have you rolling on the floor a minute later.

He was a one off and will be sorely missed.  He loved his fans and I am sure his family would be happy to hear all stories and tributes"

David Buttle, founder of Mr Bongo

"I was introduced to Terry's music by Dr. Bob Jones (soul DJ) and I first saw Terry perform in 1996 at the Jazz Cafe.

It was a Monday night and the club was packed. The crowd went mad with excitement. I saw grown men cry and I literally didn't know what "hit" me. I have never seen or heard  a performance that moved people to tears.

I was introduced to Terry after that performance. The loveliest, most humble man with such a tremendous talent and glow.  We struck a friendship via emails and 1997, on my way to Arizona, I stopped in Chicago, with me, Beth Orton's  Trailer Park CD. Beth wanted to record a duet of the Dolphins (Fred Neil) with Terry. As we were listening to Beth, Terry asked me if I would manage him.. get him to another level of gigs etc... he said yes to recording with Beth. And I said yes to becoming his manager (Wow I thought!)

I was privileged to look after his career for 15 years. I saw him through the recordings of 8 of his albums and I saw him touring to packed houses in London (Shepherds Bush, Union Chapel) as well as in Tokyo, Singapore, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Austria, Portugal and Spain. People were loyal to him. His fans love him.

Terry's music will live with me for the rest of my life. Thank you Terry for being in my life. Your music, your poetry and your humour touched us all."

Meira Shore, Terry's manager

"I was introduced to Terry's music late - in around 2004 - and like many of my age (24 at the time) I didn't know much about him or his records.  That all changed the moment I saw him at the Jazz Cafe in Camden just after joining Mr Bongo that year.  Terry and his band absolutely blew me away.  Deep, warm songs and lyrics but with such an incredible, intense energy and raw improvised playing.

Needless to say after that experience I explored his back catalogue and hunted down as many live recordings as possible.

I feel enormously privileged to have had the chance spend some time with, and work with, such a great man.  I can honestly say I have never met anyone like Terry.  He was not of this world.  To have the chance to put together a live recording album project for him - 'Welcome Home' in 2008 - is something that I will hold as one of my most important memories and greatest ever achievements.

May you rest in peace sir, you are a true and deep inspiration to me."

Graham Luckhurst, Mr Bongo

"Terry Callier was a true star and an inspiration. 

He was by far the most moving performer I have ever seen and could make a crowded room fall silent with a breath. The guaranteed queue of love-struck women after the gigs was a testament to his charm.

In my 12 years at Mr Bongo we worked on many albums together and he was always a delight and a positive force to be around. I am immensely proud that I had the chance to work with Terry and will never forget going on tour with him around North England and the amazing, enlightening conversations we had. 

Terry was a true gentleman and my friend. We will all miss you very much TC xx"

Jane Cudworth, Mr Bongo