James Chance, No Wave trailblazer, singer-saxophonist dies at 71

James Chance's brother David Siegfried confirmed the news of No Wave icon's death

By Web Desk
June 20, 2024
James Chance died at 71 after the musician’s health has been in decline for several years

James Chance, known for his major contributions to launch the No Wave movement, has passed away at the age of 71.

Billboard reported on Wednesday, June 19, that his brother David Siegfried confirmed the death of singer-saxophonist of the Contortions and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks on Tuesday, June 18.


"His death was announced by his brother David Siegfried of Chicago, who did not specify a cause of death but noted that the musician’s health has been in decline for several years," a lengthy post read on the late icon’s Facebook page.

"His final live performance is believed to have taken place in March 2019 in Utrecht, the Netherlands," per the social media post.

In addition, the punk-funk artist died at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in New York.

In 1976, Chance formed the Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with singer Lydia Lunch. The following year, after studying with saxophonist David Murray, he formed the first version of the Contortions.

The group released its debut album, Buy, in 1979 and broke up later the same year.

However, in 2003, Chance reunited with some band members for a set of shows, including All Tomorrow’s Parties in Los Angeles.

He also toured together with the group in the following years, and also performed with the Chicago band Watchers.

Chance is survived by his mother, Jean Siegfried; brother, David Siegfried; and sisters, Jill Siegfried and Mary (Randy) Koehler.