Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band of the 1970s and early 1980s. The band was co-led by the Austrian-born keyboard player Joe Zawinul and the American saxophonist Wayne Shorter (and, initially, by Czech bass player Miroslav Vitouš). Other prominent members at various points in the band's lifespan included Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Alphonso Johnson, Victor Bailey, Airto Moreira and Chester Thompson.
Alongside Miles Davis's electric bands, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Headhunters, Weather Report is considered to be one of the earliest pre-eminent jazz fusion bands. As a continuous working unit, Weather Report outlasted all of its contemporaries despite (or perhaps because of) frequent changes of personnel, with a career lasting sixteen years between 1970 and 1986.
In spite of the band's continued popularity, there was never a Weather Report reunion. The nearest that the band ever came to reuniting was, when Zawinul and Shorter both played live with Miles Davis on July 10, 1991 in Paris (the only time when Zawinul is known to have shared a live stage with Davis).
A "post band" Weather Report double CD called Live and Unreleased was made available in 2002, featuring vintage live recordings made during the late 1970s/early 1980s with various personnel. In September 2006 Columbia/Legacy released a Weather Report boxed set, Forecast: Tomorrow. It includes 3 CDs of mostly previously released material (from 1970 to 1985, excluding This is This!) and a DVD of the entire September 29, 1978, performance (with Erskine and Pastorius) in Offenbach, Germany, not previously available. A DVD video of the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival performance (featuring the Heavy Weather lineup of Pastorius, Acuna, and Badrena) has become available as well. Columbia/Legacy have also re-released the 1984 Live in Japan concert on DVD.
Zawinul died on September 11, 2007 in Vienna from skin cancer (Merkel cell carcinoma). Before that, the mid-period bass player Jaco Pastorius died on September 21, 1987, following a fatal beating in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2011, the Zawinul estate, in conjunction with an independent label, released a 40th anniversary commemorative trilogy of previously unavailable Weather Report live shows: In March Live in Berlin 1975 was released both on vinyl and as a CD/DVD set; in June the Live in Offenbach 1978 DVD was re-released together with a previously unavailable double CD of the complete show; in October Live in Cologne 1983 was released as both DVD and double CD.