Maxi Jazz Faithless
Maxi Jazz, 2016 | Credit: Ollie Millington/Redferns

Faithless Lead Singer Maxi Jazz Has Died, Aged 65

British musician Maxi Jazz passed away on Friday, 23rd December at the age of 65. The London-born singer and guitarist co-founded UK dance group Faithless with fellow vocalist Jamie Catto and keyboardists and producers Sister Bliss and Rollo in 1995.

Catto departed in 1999, but Jazz, Bliss and Rollo stayed together up until 2011, releasing six studio albums before going their separate ways. Faithless’ core trio reunited in 2015 for a series of live shows under the name Faithless 2.0. However, Jazz left the band in 2016, bringing an end to his creative partnership with Bliss and Rollo.

Faithless lead the tributes to Maxi Jazz

Faithless released a statement confirming Jazz’s death. “We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died peacefully in his sleep last night,” the band said on Instagram. Jazz’s former band mates credited him with changing their lives in “so many ways.” “He gave proper meaning and a message to our music,” they said.

The statement described Jazz as “a lovely human being” who had “time for everyone.” “He was a brilliant lyricist, DJ, Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius,” they said.

Faithless released their debut album, Reverence, in 1996. The single ‘Insomnia’ became the group’s first international hit, reaching #3 in the UK and #16 in Australia, as well as topping the US dance chart. Faithless’ second album, Sunday 8PM, arrived in 1998 and sprouted another top ten single, ‘God is a DJ’. After leaving Faithless, Jazz released one album with the group Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys, 2016’s Simple..Not Easy.

UK pop singer Boy George – one of Faithless’ many guest vocal collaborators – honoured Jazz in a post on Twitter. “God bless Maxi, a fellow Buddhist and a huge part of my DJ life,” he said. Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren followed suit, writing “Shocked to hear the news about Maxi Jazz from Faithless.. May your music keep inspiring others and rest easy.”

Faithless – ‘We Come 1’

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