Living legend Tony Schilder at his home.

Legendary jazz pianist Tony Schilder died at Booth Memorial Hospital in Cape Town last night after a long illness. He was 73.

Schilder, who started playing the piano at a young age, went on to make a name for himself as one of the greatest jazz musicians in the city. He was regularly referred to as the gentleman of jazz.

He was a band leader at Club Montreal in Manenberg and contributed to many jazz compilations.

Schilder came from a family of musicians. His mother was an accomplished musician, his father made a living as a musician and his brothers - Richard, Jackie, Philip and Chris - are all musicians, as is his son Hilton.

This year a number of his peers - Robbie Jansen, Winston Mankunku Ngozi and Ezra Ngcukana, trumpeter Alex van Heerden and vocalist Jeff Weiner have all died.

This morning Western Cape Musicians Association Chairman William Rezant said Schilder had been bed-ridden for two years. Two months ago he suffered a stroke and was treated at Somerset Hospital.

He is survived by his wife, Val, and son, Hilton. - Cape Argus

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