It is with a very heavy heart that we say goodbye to jazz legend Jimmy Scott. Jimmy was a good friend to Pink Martini. He collaborated with us on “Tea for Two” on Hey Eugene and performed with us live on a number of occasions, including Carnegie Hall and, most recently, the 2011 New Year’s Eve show at Disney Hall.

Despite being overlooked by the general public for most of his career, Jimmy was a big influence on some of the most well-known names in music, including Marvin Gaye, Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Frankie Valli, and Madonna, who reportedly called Jimmy “the only singer who makes me cry.” He has had documentary films made about him and his music, a book was written about him, and he’s been praised by critics of all stripes for not only his talent, but also his determination and will in the face of adversity.

We are honored to have the rich collaborative history with Jimmy that we do, and we wish his friends and family strength and peace of mind during this difficult time.

Read’s great write-up of their hometown hero here. Listen to Jimmy perform “Tea for Two” with China on Hey Eugene below.