Rapper who died in airplane wing stunt had strong Squamish connection


Jon James McMurray, the 34-year-old rap artist who died Saturday in the north Okanagan while performing a stunt that included rapping while walking on the wing of a plane, was in Squamish recently.

jon james

In addition to being a musician, McMurray, who is also known as Jon James, was a professional freeskier, filmmaker and stunt artist.

The Canadian Press reports that McMurray died while filming a project he had been working on for months and that included intensively training for the stunt.

McMurray apparently moved too far onto the wing of the plane, which caused the Cessna to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct.

Though he was wearing a chute, he didn’t have time to pull it.

In the video posted to Instagram on Oct. 2, McMurray is with Squamish’s Rory Bushfield, a Canadian professional skier and base jumper, and fellow base jumper Cody Matechuk, the 2018 Snow BikeCross gold medalist at the X Games.

On Instagram, Bushfield expressed his grief for the loss of his friend, who he said he has known since they were kids.

“The sun is not as bright today as it was yesterday when it was shinning on my homies last moments,” Bushfield wrote on Sunday.

“Jon James Mcmurray, my very best, dearest and oldest friend passed yesterday evening in a skydive accident. He was living his ultimate dream, free and full. May he Rest In Peace. I’m gonna miss him so much.”

In the post, Bush also references his late wife, Squamish’s Sarah Burke, Canadian freestyle skier who died in 2012 following a training accident in Utah.

“Take care of my girl Sarah up there homie. I love you. All my love to his family and people,” Bushfield wrote.

In the video posted to his Instagram on Oct. 2, McMurray and friends are seen base-jumping off the Stawamus Chief, travelling to the Squamish Valley and then skydiving, and enjoying a river waterski.

An online fundraising campaign, “The Jon James project” has been launched by Bushfield on GoFundMe.

“This fund is to help his people get his stuff out there to the world in the right way,” Bushfield wrote.

“This fund will also help with Jon James’s celebration of life.”

McMurray leaves behind his parents Doug and Jen McMurray, brother Jarred and wife, model Kali James McMurray.