Famed M’sian guitarist Paul Ponnudorai, 51, dies of organ failure

KUALA LUMPUR: Legendary Malaysian guitarist Paul Ponnudorai, 51, died early Saturday morning because of organ failure due to a latent infection.

Once described by Time magazine as “quite possibly the greatest musical interpreter of our time”, the Ipoh-born guitarist came to prominence in the 1980s as a sought-after club performer.

He has backed up a variety of local artists in the last three decades, including Sheila Majid and Sudirman, as well as played with a wide range of foreign stars such as Billy Cobham and Wynton Marsalis.

Right on Time, Ponnudorai's first album (of mostly covers but with a couple of originals), was released in 2005.

The guitarist's music ability was across the board and he was able to shine in all genres - from blues and rock to jazz and bluegrass and pop.

He was widely known in the regional live music scene and a highly respected performer.

The wake will be held Saturday from 2pm onwards at the Gui Yin Funeral Parlour at Jln 222, Petaling Jaya. The funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Ponnudorai leaves behind his wife Agnes, 91-year-old mother Kamalam, four brothers, three sisters, nieces, nephews and a host of fans.

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