Musician Acts As Spirit, Then Dies At Piano

TUESDAY, NOV. 19, 1996

A 79-year-old jazz musician making her theater debut as a spirit passing into heaven played her last note and died on stage of an apparent heart attack.

Deedie Ball performed in the play, then collapsed at the piano while playing a musical introduction for the next act.

“It was the most beautiful death I’ve ever seen,” said Karen Hammon, a friend in the audience Friday night.

“It seemed like a perfect way for a musician to be able to leave: doing what they love to do on stage in front of a piano.”

Ball performed in an all-female local broadcast show in the 1940s and ‘50s, played on the Kay Starr radio show as a soloist, performed in clubs, wrote songs and traveled the world with jazz groups.

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