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OBITUARIES: Dancers and Musicians in San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area


Obituaries
DancersMusicians
KermitDukes
RobertKinkaid
RayHirsch
JerryLee
BuddyBarnhill - link to come
Edwin“Eddie” Marshall
JohnnyNitro
Johnny Otis née John Veliotis
ScottEdogPetersen
JimRothermel
RudySalvini
AllenSmith



RAY HIRSCH
1921-August 29, 2015, 94

Published September 2, 2015


[Watch] Ray Hirsch [who] went dancing home on August 29, 2015 to his wife Betty. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1921 but it all began in Hollywood, dancing at the age of 12. Ray won the National Jitterbug Contest in 1938. He taught Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and others to dance and did movies with them and various artists in early days of the big screen. He fought as a Marine in WWII in the Pacific campaign, including the liberation of the Philippines and battles of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. After returning from the War, he did a few more movies in Hollywood before eloping with the love of his life of 67 years, Betty Biggs. He has always entertained in a variety of venues - the St. Bernard Club, San Francisco Fashion Guild, and Mended Hearts since 1961. In 2008, he was inducted to the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. He was the humorous and larksome type and had endless interesting stories to tell. Ray loved his wife, children, life, Big Band, dance and dogs. Ray is survived by three children: Rae Dawn, Radley (Paula), Jana (Jim), granddaughter: Larisa, step-granddaughters: Kasey and Sara, and great-grand-children: Vincent Jr., Autumn and Alyvia.


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GERALD K. “JERRY” LEE
August 17, 1934-March 19, 2012, 77
Published in San Francisco Chronicle

Architect and resident of San Francisco, passed away due to complications from a traumatic brain injury surrounded by loving members of his family. Born in Watsomville, Jerry grew up in Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1960.
  He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960.
  During his distinguished career, Jerry earned a reputation for his sophisticated and visionary designs, through which he demonstrated a broad range of architectural expression. He began his career working with his friend and mentor Joseph Esherick and eventually co-founded LDA Architects in San Francisco, serving as its Partner in Charge of Design since 1984.
  Jerry's design accomplishments have been highlighted in professional periodicals and his exemplary presentation techniques are featured in reference publications. Most notable among his many projects are the Mei Lun Yuen Chinatown Housing, Pier 45 Development Proposal, SFO AirTrain Stations, Citizens Utilities Company of California, and his collaboration on the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and Yerba Buena Gardens Children's Center.
   His discerning design talents further extended to landscape design, furniture design and the graphic arts, and he fostered those talents in others by returning to his alma mater as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Environmental Design, where he guided and inspired the next generation of visionary designers. Jerry's artistic and aesthetic sensibilities were also evident in his other interests.
   He was the art editor of California Pelican (UC Berkeley's humor magazine) and art director for the movie Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart.
   Jerry's coveted art collection, from abstract expressionism to pop art, and other eclectic collections such as Hawaiian shirts, folk art and classic Bauhaus furniture, all reflect his delight in the thought provoking, whimsical, cultural and beautiful.
   His love of dancing, in particular West Coast Swing, embraced his passion for the art of move­ment and expression. His adventurous pursuit of great food – from street vendors to five-star restaurants – was motivated by his deep appreciation for the culinary arts.
   A consummate world-traveler, Jerry immersed himself in the art, architecture, culture and cuisine of each country he visited.
   The son of On Lun and Alice Dong Lee, Jerry is survived by and deeply missed by his siblings Ronald Lee, Wayne Lee and Brenda (Lee) Wong; by his extended family; and by his widespread network of close friends and colleagues, all of whom cherished his love, insight, advice and affirmation. A private interment was held at Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland.
   For those wishing, a memorial contribution in Jerry's honor may be made to the Asian Art Museum or the Chinese Historical Society of America.

Jerry Lee was a wonderful West Coast Swing dancer and a long-time member in my SF class. He attended many dance conventions, workshops, and classes over the years and went on many trips with us. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew, and danced with, him. I will miss all the fun we used to have in class and on the dance cruises. I will also miss the exquisite photos Jerry would capture on our trips.
— Comment and photo by Michelle Kinkaid


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EDWIN MARSHALL
   
WATCH: Bobby Hutcherson Remembers
Coming from a family of musicians in Springfield Massachusetts, Eddie Marshall is acknowledged as a leading figure in the evolution of San Fran­cisco's contemporary jazz sound. For over fifty years he has played drums with nearly every major name in jazz, from Freddie Hubbard, Jon Hen­dricks and Dexter Gordon to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eddie Harris. A con­su­mate sideman, Marshall was the designated house drummer at San Francisco's famed nightclub, Keystone Korner during the 1970s. His most long-standing musical associations have been with Toshiko Akiyoshi, with whom he has played since 1958, the late Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson and Bobby McFerrin. He co-founded with Mike Nock the seminal jazz fusion group, The Fourth Way. Since 1989 Marshall has also been per­form­ing on the alto and soprano recorders, working within a large variety of ensemble arrangements on a baroque instrument rarely heard in jazz.
   While playing with many of the greatest jazz musicians of his day, Eddie Marshall has also distinguished himself as a composer. With two albums of original music to his name, his work is appreciated for both its driving intensity and joyous, melodic lyricism. Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Foundation awarded Marshall two grants through their New Works and New Works Encore Program, com­mis­sion­ing him to compose an original piece. Dreams That Dance – A Suite, performed by Marshall's Holy Mischief Ensemble, premiered at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in November 2004.
   Since 1981 Marshall has maintained an active teaching schedule in addition to his busy performance career. He has taught traps, jazz theory, composition, and small and big band arranging at The Stanford Jazz Workshop and Rhythmic Concepts Jazz Camp since 1984. Part of San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music series throughout the 1990’s, he has also taught ensemble classes at The Jazz School in Berkeley. He has led several free after-school instrument instruction programs, including guitarist Bruce Forman’s innovative JazzMasters Workshop for which he was the Bay Area director.
   In 2000 the SF Jazz Festival honored Marshall with its first annual Beacon Award, celebrating his lifelong commitment to jazz music and education. From 2000 to 2003 Marshall served as the Music Chair of the San Francisco Arts Commission. Since 2007 Eddie Marshall has toured and recorded with the great vibraphonist, Bobby Hutcherson, continuing a more than 30 year collaboration, which according to Marshall, has been one of the highlights of his career.



JOHNNY OTIS née John Veliotis


SCOTT EDOG PETERSEN
By: Steve Lucky
SCOTT EDOG LAIRD PETERSEN left such a large impression on anyone that was fortunate enough to spend some time with him. I was so lucky to have known him personally and musically for the last 14 years.
………His commitment to his art and craft was deeper than anyone I've ever known; he was more 'musician' than anyone I've ever met. He lived and breathed the musician's life and infected everyone else with his passion for it. ………When I first started playing with Scott he was only 41 but already an elder statesman of music. His experience was so great from an early age, that he had deep insights into the ways one could improvise, arrange, compose, transcribe, conduct yourself on stage, deal with errant bandleaders or fellow sidemen, and keep everyone in good spirits. My growth as a musician, composer, and bandleader underwent a quantum leap due to my time spent with him.
We love you Scotty Dawg, Dig That!

by RJ Spangler — August 14, 2011
Detroit jazz scribe Jim Gallert was asked to write a piece about Scott for the Detroit Jazz Festival as he was to be part of
a reunion of the JC Heard Orchestra at this years festival.
Jim asked that I help him out and here is what I wrote:

SCOTT “E-DOG” PETERSEN was my friend going back to the late 1970s – we were both born in 1956. But Scotty was born with the congenital disease cystic fibrosis (CF). He told me that he was expected to make it to about 25 years of age. He recently made 55. Along the way he had to undergo a double lung transplant. An amazing man.
………Scott truly lived his life as though every day might be his last and thus was an inspiration to all around him. He was an exemplary man and musician. The true embodiment of a life well lived. Scott was a fine tenor man but he also swung just as hard on the alto sax and even the dreaded bari sax, which was tough on his dimin­utive frame. He was equally at home playing straight-ahead jazz & gut-bucket blues. He also played clarinet and subbed with Trad bands.
………I believe that Scott came to the Detroit area from Cleveland to study with Doc Holiday at Oak­land University.
………When I met him he was playing in Sam Sanders Pioneer Jazz Orchestra along with his life-long best friend Walter Szymanski, himself a top tier trumpeter and fellow OU alum. They made a fine record­ing together under Scott's name.
………We lived a few short blocks from each other on Detroit's eastside for many years and traveled to gigs together every week. We played together in the Sun Messengers and also the first edition of Johnnie Bassett & the Blues Insurgents. Scott used me on his small group gigs during that same time.
………He was part of the two coolest big bands in the Detroit back then: The JC Heard Orchestra and the Paul Keller Orchestra. With JC's band he did many dates backing the great Dizzy Gillespie, a gig he really loved. Keller was to be another dear friend of Scott's for the rest of his life.
………Bill Heid was a friend and mentor to Scott and me back then. He appears on at least three of Bill's CDs and every one is a gem. Check out Wet Streets with his dear pal Russ Miller. Bill loved the Dog until the very end and rightfully so. He even took Scott with him on a tour of Japan. Because of the time spent with Heid, Scott was able to work with organists like Jack McDuff, Shirley Scott, Lonnie Smith, and Gene Ludwig.
………Other important Detroit area gigs for Edog include Aretha Franklin, the Four Tops, Burt Bacharach and the Temptations. He did lots of dates with soul singers Howard Tate and Bettye Lavette. Scott and I hung in the Netherlands when he was doing a tour with Howard Tate. Scott did the first tour of Europe with the Johnnie Bassett band in the mid-90s. It was a month long tour; the band included Chris Codish, Dwight Adams, me, and Scott's close friend Keith Kaminski. He did at least one other short tour of Europe with us. I cherish those memories. What a joy to hang with him it was. We recorded “I Gave My Life To The Blues” with Johnnie on that first tour.
………He was a fine arranger – writing for Jonnie Bassett to works by Bach and Debussy for the Bishop St. Saxophone Quartet. He was also a college lecturer of jazz history and instructor of jazz saxophone. He led a band at Macomb College for many years.
………Around Detroit he worked and recorded with folks like Sheila Landis, Bess Bonior, the late Eddie Nuccilli, and the late Chuck Robinette. He treasured all of those gigs and had lots of great stories. Those Robinette stories should have been written down! I recall many great nights watching him with David Swain's 2-5-1 Band at the now-defunct Soup Kitchen Saloon.
………Scott moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from the Midwest for health reasons – the winters were tough on him and California had better health care for a person with CF. He hooked up with fellow midwest ex-pat Steve Lucky & his band the Rhumba Bums, whom he recorded with, as well as Little Charlie & the Nightcats & Mighty Mike Schermer. Bay area Big Band gigs included Dan Buegeleisen, Peter Welker, Jeff Oster & Mike Vax and the Stan Kenton Alumni Orchestra. Scott played with Contemporary Jazz Orchestra at Jazz at Pearls with fellow ex-Detroiters Danny Spencer, Mike Bacile, and Chris Pitts, his colleague from the JC Heard days. He also played sometimes with the very fine Eight Legged Monster. Toward the end he was often seen with Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, a gig he really enjoyed.
………Actually, Scott seemed to enjoy it all. The man rarely complained. He really knew what it was to enjoy life.
………He certainly made my life better.
………As my uncle Bud said in an email today “I learned that Scott passed last night around 10. He was a great gift to so many of us and to the world. I’m really glad that I have Pat’s CD. It may be the only thing he recorded after the transplant. I hope not.” Rustbelt is indeed a very fine CD released by Pat Prouty and featuring Scott, Bill Heid, and Bill Higgins.
By Stephen Smoliar – August 17, 2011
San Francisco Examiner

In my account of the tribute concert for Rudy Salvini, I mentioned that Scott Petersen’s alto saxophone chair had been taken by Wayne Col­lier. At the time I did not know that Collier was substituting be­cause Petersen was in intensive care. Petersen had con­gen­ital cystic fibro­sis; he finally succumbed to death, August 13, at the age of 55. His hard-fought battle with the disease included a double lung trans­plant in January of 2009.
………Petersen will receive a tribute of his own on September 4 as part of the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival. Petersen had planned to go to Detroit for a tribute (planned by trumpeter Walt Szymanski) to the late drummer J.C. Heard in whose band he played for many years. ………Petersen had a solid command of all of the instruments in the saxophone family, as well as the clarinet. He was also in demand for his arranging skills. His approaches to jazz were, to say the least, diverse; he was equally at home with straight-ahead jazz and gut-bucket blues. Until he was hospitalized, he played a variety of gigs with groups such as the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, and the Rudy Salvini Orchestra.
………He moved to San Francisco from the Midwest in 1995, pri­marily in search of better health care. He settled in Novato in 2005 with his longtime partner Susan Zeitler.


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RUDY SALVINI
©San Francisco Chronicle – June 14, 2011
Rudolph S. Salvini Resident of Alameda | March 22, 1925-June 7, 2011
Rudolph Salvini, jazz musician, band leader, husband, friend, father, grand­father and genuinely nice guy died Tuesday from complications of cancer; he was 86. Rudy Salvini A native of Oakland, Rudy began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade and soon after started his own dance band. A long time Union 6 mem­ber, Rudy had the [good] fortune of playing with many talented musicians for over fifty years.
………After a stint during World War II in the Army Air Corps band, Rudy returned to San Francisco State Uni­versity and received his Bachelors in Music and [a] teach­ing credential. He taught K-8 music in the Pacifica School District until his retirement in 1985.
………In 1954 Rudy started the Rudy Salvini Big Band. The band found great success in an era when Big Band music was considered passé and, in 1958 was invited to play at the inaugural Monterey Jazz Festival. This was the first of his many appearances.
………Rudy's eclectic and long career allowed him to play with many greats, including: Dave Brubeck, Mel Tormé, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Turk Murphy, Vince Guaraldi, Cal Tjader to name a few.
………It was Rudy's long time association with the musicians of the [San Francisco] Bay Area that inspired him and led to the longevity of his career. Rudy's band rehearsed for over fifty years at the union hall in San Francisco, and it was the mutual admiration held by many of the [San Francisco] Bay Area's great musicians that motivated their dedication to his band.
………Rudy also continued to play gigs up until the last month of his life.
………Rudy is survived by his wife Erna, his step-children and their spouses, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He will be missed by not only his family, but his many friends and fellow musicians.

Rudy proudly, and accurately, proclaimed his band to be for dancing!
October 20, 1997December 16, 2010

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ALLEN SMITH
San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 2011
Jazz trumpeter and educator Allen Smith died in San Fran­cisco on Feb­ruary 3, 2011 following a period of physical decline. He was 85 years old. Born in Midland, Pennsylvania, Frederick Allen Smith, Sr. was the youn­gest son in a musical family; his father was a choir director and his mother taught piano. Many of his extended family members were pro­fes­sional musicians, as are his brother Wayne and son Anthony. During World War II, Smith served in the Navy at Barber's Point Naval Air Station in Honolulu, Hawaii and was a member of the renowned Hellcats Navy band. Upon returning from the war, Smith settled in the Bay Area and attended San Fran­cisco State [College] where he earned a music degree in a class that included fellow musicians Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Cal Tjader. Smith was well-known to Bay Area jazz fans and was a long-time fixture of the West Coast jazz scene. He was pro­fes­sionallyAllan Smith active until the last years of his life and was a sought-after free-lance “musi­cian's musi­cian”. Smith's technical pro­fi­ciency, expert ability to sight-read music and skilled improvisation were appreciated by bandleaders and vocalists alike. Smith's talent was regularly called upon by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett and many others during their appearances in the Bay Area. In earlier years, while based in New York, Smith toured and recorded with Benny Goodman. Smith also earned a Master's degree in education from SF State [College] and enjoyed a parallel career within the S.F. Unified School District. He was for many years the principal of Junípero Serra School and upon retirement dedicated himself fully to music, supporting local artists including Bay Area favourites Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, as well as song stylist Kim Nalley, among many others. He was an avid golfer and an active member of the St. Francis Yacht Club and the Bohemian Club. Smith is survived by his wife of fifty years Juliette (Brannen), by his brother Wayne married to Pepper Smith, by his children Anthony married to Manera Smith, Peter, Rick and Jennifer married to Josef Lusser, and by his six grandchildren, Matthew and Isabelle Smith of Boston, Massachusetts and Josef, Christina, Stephanie and Elizabeth Lusser of Vienna, Austria.
A Remembrance And A Fond Farewell To Allen Smith
by Lavay Smith
With a deep sadness, we say goodbye to our long-time trumpet player, mentor, and friend, Allen Smith. Allen passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at the age of 85. We are heart-broken but take solace in the many won­derful memories of a life well-lived and the joyous music that emanated from his golden horn.
………It's hard to get our minds around the fact that Allen is gone – we have so many memories, so many beautiful phrases singing out to us, his speaking voice and his trumpet echoing in our heads and hearts.
………Allen recorded with Duke Ellington in early 1965 which he was justifiably proud of. But even Allen Allan Smith couldn't remember all of the greats that he worked with, not to mention those he jammed with in the days of Jimbo's Bop City and all of the other great clubs in San Fran­cisco. A short list would include giants like Duke Ellington, Benny Carter (includ­ing sev­eral tours to Japan), Gil Evans, Quincy Jones, Benny Goodman, Gerald Wilson, Cal Tjader, as well as legendary singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé and Tony Bennett.
………For 14 years, Allen Smith played his tail off, raised the level of music on the bandstand and taught us a hell of a lot about music and life. Allen was one of our primary teachers and mentors, and our lives are much richer for the experience. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had the oppor­tunity to work with one of the all-time great trumpet players and musicians. His vast experience and wisdom influenced several generations of musicians in our band, in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area, and beyond.
Rest in peace, Dr. Smith. We miss you already.
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5 X 11 | 5 X 11 | 20 I 11 | 19 I 12 | 21 IV 12 | 15 IX 15 — 1.4