'Creole Beethoven' composer, arranger dead at 81
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wardell Quezergue (kuh-ZEHR), the composer and teacher known as the "Creole Beethoven," has died. He was 81.
He died Tuesday.
Songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint (too-SAHN') gave Quezergue his nickname. He describes Quezergue as a superb musician and band leader who raised the bar in rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll, and who always inspired people to their best performances.
Quezergue's career included arrangements for Army bands, the Dixie Cups and Dr. John. Shortly before his death, he finished recording his newest composition — a setting of the story of Christ's death and resurrection for narrator, instrumentalists, soloists and small chorus.