Malaysian jazz icon Lewis Pragasam has recently passed away.

Pragasam reportedly collapsed on stage, at about 9pm, during The Music of Christmas Concert at the Good Shepherd Assembly of God, Petaling Jaya. At that time, the late musician was reported to be performing with three other jazz musicians.

According to KARYAWAN’s Datuk Freddie Fernandez, Pragasam had suffered from heart-related health problems for the past two months.

” Pragasam had some heart problems for the past two months and was in the recovery period. It may be too early for him to perform, but he is still enthusiastic,” he said.

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Pragasam was performing at The Music of Christmas event prior to his passing

In addition to being a professional drummer and percussionist, the late Pragasam was an educator, publisher and author. He was also widely recognised in the jazz and world music as a pioneer of new trends and producers of unique sounds from Asia.

He also founded the progressive cosmic band, Asiabeat in 1979 with recordings and performances combining Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Western music styles, and had performed and recorded sessions with many internationally famous artists such as Billy Cobham, Ernie Watts, Randy Bensen, Randy Crawford, John ‘Kaizan’ Neptune and Bob James.

He was 66.