Bill Lee, the father of famed director Spike Lee, and a talented Jazz musician, has died according to reports. Bill Lee worked with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, and scored original music for his son on his early films.
As reported by the Associated Press, Bill Lee died on Wednesday (May 24) at his Brooklyn, N.Y. home. Spike Lee’s publicist Theo Dumont shared the news via a statement to the publication. The director also shared several images of his father on Instagram.
The elder Lee’s instrument was the bass and his work as a session player appeared on tracks from Cat Stevens, John Lee Hooker, Simon and Garfunkel, and many more. Lee also performed work on the late Aretha Franklin’s 1960 debut album, Aretha.
Lee wrote the soundtrack music for the films She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do The Right Thing, and Mo’ Better Blues. The elder Lee also had a role in Do The Right Thing. After the director and his father had a falling out, Terence Blanchard served as the musical director for Lee’s films.
Bill Lee is survived by his second wife Susan Kaplan, sons Spike, Cinque, and Arnold; daughter Joie; brother A. Clifton Lee; and a pair of grandchildren.
Bill Lee was 94.
Photo:: Patrick McMullan / Getty