Mitch Mitchell, the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience has passed away at the age of 62. Mitchell died November 12th of natural causes in Portland, OR.
Born and raised in London as John Mitchell, he made a name for himself in his hometown as a session drummer and performing artist before joining bassist Noel Redding to form the Hendrix’s rhythm section in 1966. He backed the guitar legend on all three Experience albums-Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland-and played at such legendary Hendrix performances as the Isle of Wight and Woodstock.
Through his work with Hendrix, Mitchell became well-known for his fusion style, in which he pioneered the incorporation of jazz drumming in a rock idiom by mirroring and accenting Hendrix’s lead melodies, amongst other techniques.
After Jimi’s death in 1970, Mitchell remained relatively off the radar, playing occasional studio sessions and concerts before ultimately joining the Gypsy Sun Experience. Most recently, Mitchell played the Experience Hendrix tour, an 18-show American tribute tour, which wrapped up in Portland last Friday. He passed away during a brief post-tour vacation period, after which he had planned to return to London.
Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC said that, “We’re all devastated to hear of Mitch’s passing. He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend. His role in shaping the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience cannot be underestimated.Over the course of the recent tour, he seemed delighted with the interchange with the other musicians and the audiences. There is no question that he was doing what he loved.”