Renowned jazz pianist, former Dayton Daily News writer Khalid Moss has died


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Kenneth “Khalid” Moss, world renowned jazz pianist and former Dayton Daily News writer, died Feb. 18 after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Born in 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, Moss traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, Canada and the United States. He particularly performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.

Moss studied piano at a young age. After graduating from Ohio University in 1976, he returned to Dayton and carved his professional path. He played with famous jazz artists such as Pharoah Sanders, Yuseef Lateef, Sonny Stitt, and legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter among others.

His contributions for Dayton Daily News spotlighted religion and music, especially classical, jazz, opera and folk. He also prominently covered the death of R&B/funk titan Roger Troutman in 1999.

“Some of us were lucky to see Khalid write and cover big stories in the newsroom and also see him perform and play music; he was fantastic at both,” said Jim Bebbington, outgoing editor of the Dayton Daily News.

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Moss is survived by his children, Jamal Sharif, Esu Ma’at, and Malaika Laurant-Hutcherson, mother Frances Moss-More, brother John (Betty) Moss III, sisters Karol (James) Brown and Joyce (David) Barnes. His obituary also noted he was a longtime member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and enjoyed sports, movies and quiet time to relax and reflect.

“For as long as I can remember, it’s always been Kenny at the piano – the two go together,” said Barnes, a local playwright/director who has associations with Xenia Area Community Theater and Springfield Civic Theatre and teaches at Sinclair Community College. “He always had a love for the piano. He played by ear first and eventually learned to read and compose music. My mother played classical music while she was carrying him - she wanted to create a musician, and she did. He came out musically talented and that is the Kenny I’ve always known.”

According to Schlientz & Moore Funeral Home, a memorial service will be held April 3 with additional information forthcoming.

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