Jazz pianist Jay "Hootie" McShann has died aged 90, after falling ill with a respiratory ailment.
The co-founder of the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival, Kathe Kaul, said he had been admitted to hospital in the past week.
McShann - real name James Columbus - started his musical career at the age of 15, going on to work alongside Charlie Parker and Count Basie.
The musician earned himself accolades from both blues and jazz fans.
McShann taught himself to play piano against the wishes of his parents, picking it up by listening to late-night broadcasts featuring jazz pianist and bandleader Earl Hines.
In 1978, he was the subject of the film Hootie Blues, and was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1987.
The Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation was presented to him in 1996, while in 2003 he was nominated for a Grammy for his CD Goin' to Kansas City.
The American Jazz Museum in Kansas City named its outdoor performance pavilion after McShann.
There are plans being put together for a musical celebration of McShann's life in Kansas City for early next year.