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Spokane jazz legend Arnie Carruthers dead at 81

Mon., March 7, 2011, 8:06 p.m.

Arnie Carruthers, one of the giants in the Spokane jazz scene, died Monday at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane Valley at age 81.

He had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in December.

Carruthers was a piano institution for many years at the Davenport Hotel, the Olympic Hotel in Seattle and the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1974, he turned himself into a one-handed piano player after a stroke robbed him of the use of his left hand. He continued to be one of the most in-demand jazz players in the region.

His final public performance was at his 80th birthday party last year. A tribute concert to Carruthers at the Spokane Falls Community College Jazz Festival on March 19 will go on as planned.

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