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Saxophone great and Smith Mountain Lake resident Ken Hitchcock dies | Music

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Saxophone great and Smith Mountain Lake resident Ken Hitchcock dies | Music

A studio and touring excellent who settled at Smith Mountain Lake has died.

Ken Hitchcock, a environment-course woodwind multi-instrumentalist best recognized for his saxophone function, died unexpectedly Aug. 31, though overseas on vacation with his wife, singer Sue Halloran. He was 66.

His resume included gigging and recording with Charles Mingus, Aretha Franklin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steely Dan, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson, Michael Buble, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvin Jones, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Diana Krall, Louie Bellson and Buddy Rich. He done in many Broadway reveals and recorded many film, Tv set and business soundtrack dates, in accordance to his on line biography.

He was known in the Roanoke location for function with this sort of acts as JStop Latin Soul, the Boptet, and a longtime task with Halloran, String of Pearls.

“He was a giant in the New York songs field for many years and his influence listed here in SW Virginia will be felt for a long time to occur,” members of The Boptet posted on their Fb page. “He is an fantastic musician, he is our friend and our mentor and he will be missed more than terms can say.”

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Hitchcock, a McLean indigenous, and Halloran, of Milwaukee, achieved even though they were living in New York Town. They performed alongside one another with iconic artists which include Nancy Wilson, Taxi Calloway, Tito Puente and Sarah Vaughn, according to their shared web-site. The few moved to Wirtz about 2016, for a slower speed of existence, but they did not retire. String of Pearls, Halloran’s New York vocal team, performed numerous situations in the area.

Hitchcock, who graduated from The Juilliard University in 1978, was at ease in any musical style and is outlined atop the credits for Mingus’ phenomenal 1979 jazz-fusion album, “Me, Myself An Eye,” amongst many heavyweight sessions.

He worked from his extra latest dwelling base with Hoppie Vaughan & the Ministers of Soul, Lenny Marcus and the Sway Katz Massive Band.

None of the earlier mentioned was atop Hitchcock’s record of job highlights. Shifting to initial human being on his on the web bio site, he wrote: “I just want to say that this initial CD launch, ‘I Can Cook dinner Too’ with my spouse Sue, the adore of my everyday living, has been the most fulfilling accomplishment of my profession!!”

He recently accomplished do the job on an album with JStop Latin Soul, an Afro-Cuban fusion band that Joel Stopka potential customers. Stopka wrote on the band’s Fb web site that it was the group’s first album, and it turned out to be Hitchcock’s closing session. See and hear him with that act in a July general performance at Staunton’s Jazz in the Park, by means of bit.ly/jstopvideo.

“Ken was a sort, delicate, passionate musician and mate,” Stopka wrote in a information trade. “Thinking of his achievements would make me dizzy. He went so considerably in the music globe, letting his really like and pleasure for music carry him, pretty much, to finishes of the earth, doing with all the ‘heavy-hitters’ … Still what I will keep in mind most of all is how generous and delicate a musician and good friend he was. Ken was often keen and excited to assist any musician, on any amount, who wanted to discover. He was a instructor at coronary heart. Often with a sort phrase initial, then a lengthy rationalization of how you can do greater.

“Ken was regularly wanting to find out and mature himself. He approached audio with enjoyment and marvel, usually looking to thrust it farther, more quickly, tighter. He helped me uncover pleasure in music again. He was patient with me on my journey to know new music far better, yet generally urgent me to be great now. His willingness to dig in and work to make any performance masterful, even when it was a really little display in a pretty modest position, was so admirable. He constantly brought his greatest.

“This guy performed with the finest musicians all about the world, yet he set equal time and adore and energy into each and every performance, significant or small. He was a good part product to search up to, a fantastic mentor to find out from and a excellent friend to are living daily life with, and I will miss out on him deeply.”

Yet yet another of the Roanoke area’s major musicians, Brian Mesko, performed commonly with Hitchcock, which include in the JStop undertaking. Mesko has spoken with Halloran given that his loss of life and wrote in a concept trade that Hitchcock, who had diabetic issues and wore an insulin pump at all situations, was in Ireland on a church journey when he experienced a response to a little something he ate there. Hitchcock and Halloran assumed it was foodstuff poisoning, and she went on a working day journey with the team, but he give up responding to her texts. She returned to come across him barely alive, and a health care team could not conserve him.

Halloran thinks that Hitchcock suffered a diabetic coma, but it will acquire weeks prior to they know for confident, Mesko wrote.

“He was a excellent good friend and often tried out to be upbeat and constructive and connective,” he wrote. “He had a superior standard that pushed these all around him to do their most effective.”

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