Local jazz legend Charles Neville dies at 79

Charles Neville, Grammy award winning saxophonist and member of R&B, soul, and funk group, The Neville Brothers, died on Thursday at the age of 79.

Charles Neville. Photo by Dan Little.

He had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past several months.

Aaron Neville, Charles’ brother and another member of the Neville Brothers, tweeted a tribute to Charles on Thursday afternoon.

“My dear brother Charlie the horn man, just want you to know that if I would’ve had the choice of picking my brothers, I would definitely choose you,” he wrote. “You were a great brother. You’ll always be in my heart and soul, like a tattoo…”

In an interview last year with the Advocate’s Kristin Palpini, Neville spoke about the history of jazz and his memories of segregation growing up.

“Growing up everything was segregated. It was against the law for black and white musicians to play together,” he said in July 2017.

Aaron Neville posted a longer tribute on his Facebook page, in which he said his brother Charles had helped him become the person he is today.

More will be added to this story later today.

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