Trombone Player and Violinist Lewis Kahn Dies: Report

Lewis Kahn
Al Pereira/WireImage

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A violin battle between Lewis Kahn and Alfredo De La Fe unfolds behind vocalist Emo Luciano during the Larry Harlow Latin Legends Band performance on June 18, 2011 in Brooklyn.

Salsa lovers are mourning his death on social media.

The death of salsa’s “second marvelous Jew,” Lewis Kahn, was reported on social media by the first musician to hold that title, Larry Harlow.

Kahn, a pioneer of salsa violin and trombonist who played with the Orquestra Harlow and recorded numerous albums with other members of the Fania All Stars, reportedly passed away in his sleep on Tuesday night (Feb. 19) at home in New York. He was 73 years old.

Kahn, who was born in Los Angeles, began playing violin as a child and took up trombone as a teen, when he joined his high school band. In his twenties, he became an integral part of the Latin music scene in New York. First playing in boogaloo bands, he was present for the birth of the sound that became known as salsa. Kahn’s many recordings on labels including Tico, RCA and Columbia, as well as Fania, include Dizzy Gillespie and Machito’s Afro Cuban Jazz MoodsCelia Cruz and Willie Colon’s Only They Could Have Made This AlbumRuben Blades’ Maestra Vida, Harlow’s salsa opera Hommy and Eddie Palmieri’s Justicia.

Tributes from the salsa community came quickly after the news; colleagues and fans invaribly described him as a humble man known for his gentle manner.

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