Jazz maestro Graham Wood dies, tributes flood in

Graham Wood, owner of The Ellington Jazz Club and jazz pianist., who died this week. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Graham Wood, owner of The Ellington Jazz Club and jazz pianist., who died this week. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

THE Perth music scene was rocked this week after the death of acclaimed jazz pianist and venue entrepreneur Graham Wood at the age of 46. 

Mr Wood, who was an associate professor of music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, left behind a considerable legacy, as a recording artist, performer and educator. 

Below is an interview with Mr Wood from 2013, in which he discusses the rare form of cancer that ultimately took his life after a four-year battle. 

 

In March 2013, The Ellington Jazz Club founder-owner, talented musician and WAAPA Director of Music Graham Wood discovered he had a rare and deadly strain of cancer.

Three weeks later, he underwent ‘brutal’ surgery, which he just survived, and this month celebrates his success along with the release of his fifth CD.

“I started the year well: 2013 was the first year I managed to get the Perth International Jazz Festival,” the well-known local said.

“As part of the research for that project I went to Jakarta for Java Jazz and got gastro, just common Bali belly that normally you’d shake in a few days.

“It wouldn’t go away and I started to get jaundice and when I got back to Perth, I was off to the hospital for tests.”

That was when doctors discovered he had cholangiocarcinoma: a bile duct cancer.

“I was actually very lucky that I went there and got gastro because it triggered this series of events that meant they found the cancer pretty early,” Wood said.

“Cholangiocarcinoma is pretty much a terminal illness – there’s usually very little they can do.

“The only cure is to get into surgery, but it’s a very narrow window because usually by the time people start presenting with symptoms, it’s too late.

“If I had stayed in Perth, eating the local food and drinking the water, I probably would not have found out what was going on inside until it was too late.”

Wood was in hospital for eight weeks, then recovered at home for about three months.

 

 

 

WAAPA posted a tribute to Mr Wood on their Facebook page:

Mr Wood’s brother also paid tribute.

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