Tag Archives: Final Notes

Final Note: Daniel Adam Savell

2/11/1975 – 11/17/2023
Member. Percussion

It is with deep sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that Daniel Adam Savell has died. He passed away November 17, 2023, succumbing to injuries suffered in a sports accident. Dan was born February 11, 1975, in Newton, Massachusetts and was co-founder and co-owner of L.A. Percussion and Backline Rentals in Santa Clarita, California. Continue reading

Final Note: Donald J. Baldini (Baldwin)

Life Member. String Bass
12/5/1940 – 3/4/2024

Donald James Baldini, 83, of Westminster, Vt., died at home in the bed he made himself, just as he wished.

He was tenacious in his love for life, music, food and friends while he navigated the ups and downs of cancer for the past eight years. He will be remembered by all as a charismatic storyteller, world-class bass player and engaging teacher. Continue reading

Final Note: Valencia Mitchell

Life Member. Violin
3/4/1949 – 9/3/2023

Valencia began violin studies with Frank Frederick Ficus in Los Angeles at the age of 10. She attended Manual Arts High School and upon graduation enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, CA. At Mills she studied with Nathan Ruben and earned the Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She enrolled at the University of Southern California pursuing a degree in Library Science with an emphasis in music and was awarded the Master’s Degree in Music Literature from California State University, Long Beach. Valencia worked as a librarian for the County of Los Angeles and Cerritos College. Continue reading

Lincoln Mayorga - Photo by Emma Dodge Hanson

Final Note: Lincoln Mayorga

Life Member. Piano
3/28/1937 – 7/3/2023

Lincoln Mayorga, the consummate musician as well as founder of Townhall Records and co-founder of Sheffield Lab and the Mastering Lab, has died. The concert pianist, arranger, composer, conductor, producer, and audiophile innovator was equally comfortable performing classical music on international stages and arranging and playing with popular artists in diverse venues — pop, jazz, classical, and rock ‘n’ roll. Continue reading

Final Note: Howie Shear

Former Member. Trumpet
8/5/1954 – 6/27/2023

A highly respected Los Angeles trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Howie was a Van Laar Trumpets artist and endorsed Bob Reeves mouthpieces. He received a Bachelor of Music Education from Fredonia State University in 1975, a Master of Music with a major in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music in 1977, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California in 2002. He studied trumpet with James F. Burke, Raymond Crisara, and Carmine Caruso. Continue reading

Final Note: Dennis Budimir

Life Member. Guitar
6/20/1938 – 1/9/2023

Honoring Dennis Budimir

by his daughter, Juliann Budimir

It is hard to give voice to the loss,
To give words to the ache that forever echoes in my heart since
My beloved Pop, Dennis Budimir, passed away in our arms,
My Mom and I at his side.

Dennis Budimir, beloved husband, father, and legendary jazz and studio guitarist, passed away on January 9, 2023. He was an incredible father to me and a loving, devoted husband to my mom. We are blessed by his eternal love. It is incredibly difficult to write about his passing and to put into words our monumental loss. Dennis Budimir’s musical biography is truly extensive; we are grateful to those who have documented his outstanding career and have given insight into his tremendous artistry. Continue reading

Final Note: Dr. Thom Mason

Former Life Member. Composer
10/10/1941 – 10/22/2022

by Dr. Bruce Eskovitz

How do we honor a man like Dr. Thom David Mason, an artist, a mentor, an educator a husband and a friend? We cherish his legacy as seen by my colleagues on this stage and the many hundreds of musicians that his teaching influenced for more than 50 years. The classes that he created, like “Jazz, Ragtime & Blues,” which brought this music closer to generations of USC general education students, who learned to love this music through the passion and intelligence that Dr. Thom professed to all. He created the DMA in Jazz Studies, which opened the door to that advanced degree for myself and many of the artists that share this stage today. His book “The Art of Hearing” revolutionized solfeggio in a manner that made it a viable and usable tool for jazz musicians and jazz music students. Dr. Thom was a brilliant man who always sought to inform, educate and create opportunity where none had existed before. Continue reading

Final Note: Roger Larocque

Life Member. Drum Set
2/8/1953 – 10/31/2021                                                                                                                                       
by Peter Andrews

Roger Larocque, drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, engineer and producer extraordinaire, passed away on October 31, 2021 of complications resulting from a long battle with diabetes. Continue reading