Joe Zawinul

Joe Zawinul (1932-2007) was an Austrian-born keyboardist and composer, renowned for his pioneering work in jazz fusion. He co-founded the influential band Weather Report and collaborated with many jazz greats throughout his career. Zawinul's innovative use of synthesizers and electronic instruments revolutionized jazz music.

Timeline of Career Highlights

1932 Born on July 7 in Vienna, Austria.

1959 Moves to the United States and joins the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra.

1961-1970 Plays with Cannonball Adderley, composing "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."

1970 Co-founds Weather Report with saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

1977 Releases "Heavy Weather" with Weather Report, featuring the hit "Birdland."

1986 Weather Report disbands; Zawinul forms The Zawinul Syndicate.

2007 Passes away on September 11 in Vienna, Austria.

Albums and Discography

1. Solo Albums

  1. “Money in the Pocket” (1966)
  2. “Zawinul” (1971)
  3. “Di-a-lects” (1986)
  4. “My People” (1996)
  5. “Faces & Places” (2002)

2. With Weather Report~

  1. “Weather Report” (1971)
  2. “I Sing the Body Electric” (1972)
  3. “Sweetnighter” (1973)
  4. “Mysterious Traveller” (1974)
  5. “Black Market” (1976)
  6. “Heavy Weather” (1977)
  7. “Mr. Gone” (1978)
  8. “8 30” (1979)
  9. “Night Passage” (1980)
  10. “Weather Report” (1982)

3. With The Zawinul Syndicate~

  1. “The Immigrants” (1988)
  2. “Black Water” (1989)
  3. “Lost Tribes” (1992)
  4. “World Tour” (1997)
  5. “Vienna Nights” (2005)

Grammy Awards

Zawinul won three Grammy Awards and was nominated multiple times, particularly recognized for his work with Weather Report and his contributions to jazz fusion.

Famous Songs and Compositions

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (1966) - A hit for Cannonball Adderley.

"In a Silent Way" (1969) - Composed for Miles Davis' album of the same name.

"Birdland" (1977) - A defining track of Weather Report, later covered by Manhattan Transfer. Hear my version click here

Collaborations and Cover Versions

Collaborations Worked with Miles Davis, producing groundbreaking albums like “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew”. Collaborated with artists like Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, and Wayne Shorter.

Cover Versions "Birdland" has been widely covered by various artists, including Manhattan Transfer and Maynard Ferguson.


The piano is like an orchestra — I’m very fortunate that I chose to be a musician.

on Weather Report he once said...

In the beginning let's say Weather Report was a joint thing. Then, after the second album there's no question about it, it became more and more my group. Wayne wanted it like that, but we were always 'partners in crime'. No Wayne, no Weather Report.

Gossip and Personal Anecdotes

Zawinul was known for his fiery personality and perfectionist tendencies. His leadership in Weather Report was marked by a constant pursuit of innovation and excellence.

There may have been some jealousy when Jaco Pastorius joined Weather Report, having three strong genius' in the band was one too many!

Despite his strong character, he was deeply respected and admired by his peers for his musical genius and visionary approach.

Joe Zawinul's legacy is characterized by his innovative spirit and profound influence on jazz fusion. His work continues to inspire musicians and listeners around the world, solidifying his place as a legend in the annals of jazz history.

Songs: Birdland, Mercy Mercy Mercy

Check out the video too...