The Canadian jazz community is mourning the loss of Frank Wright, the widely beloved vibraphonist who had been an important part of Toronto’s music scene since the 1950s.

Beginning his career as a regular performer on Toronto’s after-hours club circuit, Wright went on to become one of Canada’s most highly respected jazz musicians. Known for his endlessly kind and gentle presence, Wright worked with several of the country’s most celebrated jazz icons, performing at major festivals and stages as renowned as Carnegie Hall.

Wright died the morning of Sunday, May 16, due to complications related to COVID-19, according to Toronto jazz advocate and publicist Fay Olson. He was 92.

All four of Wright’s children — Kevin, Norm, Diane and Donna — were with him (either at his bedside or on speakerphone) at the time of his death.

“This is a big loss for the jazz community in Toronto,” said JAZZ.FM91 host Heather Bambrick. “We’ve lost a fantastic musician, and even more importantly, one the kindest, most gentle and sweetest of men.”