Pune, April 25, 2021:
Renowned Pune-based musician, Derek Julien, passed away at Jehangir Hospital, Pune, due to post-COVID pneumonia. He was 70. Derek is survived by his wife Maria and daughter Danielle.
Born in Mumbai on 19 August 1950, Derek Julien, one of India’s finest blues musicians, was instrumental in elevating jazz and blues-rock guitar playing to an ethereal art, holding audiences mesmerised every time he took stage such was the timelessness of his skill. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Derek was associated with bands such as Mystiks, the legendary Waterfront, Azure Hades, Airwave, among many others, his longest standing association being with his brother-in-law, Roger Dragonette.
Derek was diagnosed with COVID19 in early April and had been in the ICCU at Jehangir hospital since then. The music fraternity across India rallied to support Derek and his family. Danielle and Maria kept the community informed on Derek’s health through a WhatsApp group called Derek’s Friends. After a stoic battle, Derek overcame COVID with a negative report and was moved to the regular ICU on 17 April. Subsequently his condition took a turn for the worse on 19 April with oxygen levels falling and subsequent tests showed significant lung damage. True to his self, Derek battled on till the end, conveying his gratitude to everyone for the overwhelming support and that he was doing his best to recover. He passed away at 1 am on 25 April.