Jazz trombonist JIMMY CHEATHAM has died after a long battle with ill health. He was 82. Cheatham died of heart-related problems in La Jolla, California on 12 January (07). Cheatham, who underwent a heart-related procedure in December (06), was preparing to tour with his band, including a performance scheduled in May (07) at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. In a decades-long career, Cheatham played bass trombone with DUKE ELLINGTON, Lionel Hampton, and ORNETT COLEMAN. Most recently, he played with his wife, JEANNIE, in their SWEET BABY BLUES BAND, formed in the mid-1980s. Cheatham took his knowledge and love of jazz into the classroom in 1971, when he was invited to teach jazz at Bennington College in Vermont. In 1978, he was asked to head the jazz program at the University of California in San Diego, where he taught until retiring in 2005.