Steely Dan’s Keyboardist Jim Beard Passed Away At 63

Steely Dan’s Keyboardist Jim Beard Passed Away At 63 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Page Six / Youtube

Renowned keyboardist Jim Beard recognized for his contributions to Steely Dan’s musical legacy, passed away at the age of 63 due to complications from a sudden illness on March 2, as confirmed in a recent statement.

Originally from Philadelphia, Beard’s musical journey began early, studying under esteemed figures like jazz composer Don Sebesky and keyboardist George Shearing. His talent flourished in college, where he collaborated with jazz icons like Slide Hampton and Red Rodney.

Transitioning to New York City in 1985, Beard immersed himself in the vibrant music scene, establishing himself as a sought-after musician. He embarked on tours with luminaries such as John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu and saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Beard expanded his repertoire, releasing solo albums like Song of the Sun in 1990 and collaborating with a diverse range of artists including Joe Scofield, Pat Metheny, and Bela Fleck.

In 2008, Beard’s career took a new turn as he joined Steely Dan as their touring keyboardist, a role he embraced with passion and dedication. His influence extended beyond the stage, contributing to solo projects by Walter Becker, Steely Dan’s co-founder and guitarist.

Beyond Steely Dan, Beard’s musical legacy thrived, as he collaborated with an array of artists spanning genres from jazz to fusion. His body of work includes partnerships with Al Jarreau, John Mayer, and Meshell Ndegeocello, among others.

Jim Beard’s passing leaves a void in the music industry, but his memory lives on through his music. He is survived by his son, daughter, mother, brother, and sister, and will be remembered fondly by fans and colleagues alike for his remarkable talent and contributions.

As the music world mourns his loss, Steely Dan continues their journey, set to perform in Chicago this weekend after overcoming challenges during the Eagles tour last fall.

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.