Johannesburg - The music industry has been robbed of an icon, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday following the death of jazz musician Victor Ntoni.
“Ntoni gave his best to the industry, and also invested a lot in promoting South African music and empowering up-and-coming musicians,” he said in a statement.
“Our music industry has yet again been robbed of an icon that was instrumental in promoting and making jazz music popular in our country.”
Zuma sent his condolences to the Ntoni family.
“They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time of mourning. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Star reported earlier that Ntoni died of a heart attack in a Johannesburg hospital.
He was 65. His former wife Linda Ntoni said he was admitted to hospital on Thursday with a persistent cough.
“It was found that he had fluid on his lungs,” she was quoted as saying.
He stayed in hospital for observation, but collapsed on Monday morning.
“They tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes, but he had a heart attack, most probably from the condition,” she said.
Ntoni, a self-taught bassist, joined the Dollar Brand Trio as a teenager. The trio included world famous Cape Town pianist Abdullah Ibrahim.
In 1976, he received formal training at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
He worked with a broad range of musicians, including Hugh Masekela and Abigail Khubeka. Recently, he collaborated with DJ Black Coffee on a revival of his hit “Usizi”. - Sapa