Tag Archives: Final Notes

Final Note: Pearl Kaufman

Life Member. Piano
10/19/1931 – 8/1/2021

Pearl was a member of Local 47 for 64 years. She began her career at 14 by winning the UCLA Young Artist and the Los Angeles Outstanding Musicians auditions. She was a trailblazer for female musicians. She was awarded scholastic and performance scholarships to the University of Southern California, where she received both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music. She graduated Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Summa Cum Laude, and was honored as the most outstanding student in the School of music where she studied under John Crown. Pearl taught piano and coached opera at USC under the direction of Walter Ducloux for three years. She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Festival Orchestra, California Chamber Symphony, Ojai Festival Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and numerous other orchestras. Continue reading

Final Note: Wally Holmes

Wally Holmes: Evangelist, Jazzman, Composer, Impresario, Great Human 

by Richard Simon & Cynthia Crosby

 “I should have gone in and pounded the table,” he said, “but that isn’t my style.”  

Wally Holmes didn’t need to pound tables; throughout his life, he commanded attention the old-fashioned way:  through talent, hard work, persistence – and an astonishing skill in the obscure art of solfeggio.

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Final Note: Kevin Hiatt

Life Member. Composer
7/7/1947 – 8/8/2021

by Carl Rigoli

Kevin was a great musician, composer and friend. I had known him since 1970. I played drums and percussion in his rehearsal band and recording sessions that he composed and arranged for his musical projects.

Kevin was always considered one of the best big band jazz composers in Los Angeles. Many great jazz and studio players played his compositions. He was also a masterful copyist and proofreader for some of the top film composers.

Kevin was a kind and respectful gentleman. Goodbye old friend, and Rest In Peace.

Final Note: Clarence ‘Mac’ McDonald

2/24/1945 – 7/21/2021
Member. Keyboard


Music Industry Mourns the Loss of Keyboardist, Producer, Writer and Arranger Clarence “Mac” McDonald.

 Musician who bridged genres and generations was known for work with Ray Charles, James Taylor, Bill Withers dies at the age of 76.


The family, friends and colleagues of Clarence McDonald are saddened to share the news of his passing on July 21, 2021. McDonald was born in Los Angeles at White Memorial Hospital on February 24, 1945. While music brought him around the world, Los Angeles remained his home where he resided in Toluca Lake. In 2013, McDonald moved to and resided in Las Vegas, NV until his death. Continue reading

Final Note: Robert Edmondson

Life Member. Trombone.
3/5/1935 – 5/29/2021

Robert (Bob) Edmondson, trombonist, passed away peacefully in Los Angeles on May 29, 2021.

As a young musician, Bob studied with Herbie Harper, Harold Mitchell, and Louis Maggio. He performed in Phil Moore’s Marching Band at Los Angeles City College and then his career took off. He traveled with the bands of Perez Prado and Harry James in the 1950s. Bob then worked and recorded with notable artists such as Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Shelly Manne, Terry Gibbs, and Gerald Wilson. Continue reading

Final Note: Pat Rizzo

Life Member. Flute
11/30/1941 – 4/15/2021

by Carl Rigoli

I met Pat Rizzo at JHS 141 Astoria, Queens, NYC in the 7th grade and he formed his first band which included Pat on tenor sax, Andre Simone on guitar and myself, Carl Rigoli, on drums. We were all 12 years old and rehearsed at Andre’s house. I remember playing our first performance for our school’s student and faculty assembly. We played “Blue Suede Shoes” and everyone loved it. Pat was our leader and he started booking gigs for local functions such as the Moose Lodge, weddings, etc. We all attended Bryant High School and added another sax and trumpet, plus a bass player named Wally Capone Puschmann to our rhythm section. He named the band the Cavilers and we performed for all the school dances, proms and many local gigs. We played rock, standards, and jazz. Continue reading

Final Note: Daniel Thomason

Dan Thomason, en route to Berlin. Winter, 1959

Life Member. Viola
6/27/1934 – 5/25/2020

by Anita Thomason

We made music together, both literally and metaphorically, from the day we met in an orchestra in 1955. We married in 1959, and across the years had many memorable musical adventures. We had two sons whom Dan loved deeply — Matthew and Peter, one a fine art printmaker and the other a pianist, guitarist and piano technician. Continue reading

Final Note: David Johnson

Former Life Member. Percussion
10/1/1948 – 6/7/2020

David Johnson, award-winning musician, 71, died of natural causes on June 7, 2020, two years after retiring to his childhood home in Port Angeles, Washington, to enjoy the beauty and peace of the Pacific Northwest. David enjoyed an accomplished musical career, including winning a Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium in 2015 as a member of the PARTCH Ensemble. He also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, toured with the late pianist Roger Williams, and taught at the California Institute of the Arts for 26 years. His music both brought great joy both to David and to his audiences, and he inspired generations of young musicians as a beloved and respected professor of percussive arts. Continue reading

Final Note: Pat Longo

Life Member. Alto/Tenor Saxophone
9/11/1929 – 3/26/2020

Big band leader and alto sax great Pat Longo died on March 26, 2020 of the coronavirus. He was 90 years old. Pat was a first rate musician who lived a long life and made a lot of great music. Among the highlights of his career, Pat was lead alto on the Harry James Band. With Harry’s blessing, Pat founded and directed the Pat Longo Super Big Band and the Pat Longo Hollywood Big Band, performing and recording with L.A.’s best. Continue reading