Updated: Oct 21
Sadly, I see the news about the suicide of accomplished New York pianist Angelo Di Loretto. It has been a terrible year for artists mentally and financially and has left many artists feeling alone and rejected.
The family has asked that any memorial donations be directed to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Angelo studied piano with Vijay Iyer at the Manhattan School of Music and was well known for his extensive work with the Philippe Lemm Trio, with Jeff Koch on bass. Everyone talks about his generous and caring nature. The many heartwarming tributes that loved ones have dedicated to his memory on social media are strongly personal and impactful and mean much more together than this one article, my one experience. I only met Angelo in 2015 at a master class at Fredonia University. Frank Valente and I played a duo version of "The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers" on piano and vibes. We played pretty stiff and Angelo and his fabulous trio encouraged us to see past that and to look at all the possibilities at once, both tonally and rhythmically, and let it unfold organically.
This year a majority of artists have been restricted from working in their careers, the only careers they studied for and are qualified for. Staying home to stop the spread of the virus isn't unreasonable but where's the support for those of us still without a job? We get no compensation from the government that is preventing us from earning a living and paying our rent, and after the restaurants return and the theaters open again there will still be no compensation to reignite an industry that is abandoned.
We are all feeling the negative conditions of this pandemic. Please do not abandon your friends. There is no substitute for checking in on your friends and loved ones. Be generous and caring, support each other.
In loving memory of Angelo Di Loretto