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And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in October

Death is inevitable. But at The Spec, we share this sentiment with Neil Strauss: “Everyone loves you when you’re dead.”

It is always sad to see the passing of talented artists. Last month, numerous musicians with different personal and musical backgrounds died. Portland lost two of its own: Blake Mackey, a musician, artist and founder of Architect Records, and Joel Burrows, a multi-instrumentalist known for his involvement in bands The Thermals and The Minders.

Learn more about some of the other musicians who passed away last month…

Nick Curran, dead at 35

Curran was an American blues and rock ‘n’ roll singer, and guitarist from Maine. Associated with acts such as Nick Curran & the Nitelifes, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Flash Boys and Deguello, Curran’s music was often compared to that of The Dinks, The Ramones, The Sonics, Misfits, Little Richard and T-Bone Walker.


B. B. Cunningham, dead at 70

Cunningham was an American vocalist and musician, and brother of The Box TopsBill Cunningham. Throughout his own musical career, B.B. was involved with Ronny & the Daytonas, The Hombres and Jerry Lee Lewis.


David S. Ware, dead at 62

Ware was an American jazz saxophonist who attended Berklee College of Music. His music career officially began in 1971 with the release of his debut album, produced by alto saxophonist Abdul Hannah. Ware formed a quartet in the 1990s that produced several albums before dissolving circa 2007.


Natina Reed, dead at 32

Natina Reed was a New York-born singer, rapper, songwriter, beatboxer and actress. She is known for being part of the R & B three piece Blaque. Reed was in the process of producing a solo rap release, reuniting with Blaque and starring in a new movie, at the time of her death.


Jo Dunne, dead at 43

Jo Dunne was a British guitarist who became famous through her alternative rock group We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Going to Use it. Dunne’s sister Maggie also played in Fuzzbox. The all-girl band was at its prime during the 1980s, recording hits “Love is the Slug and “Pink Sunshine.” Members reunited in 2010.


Terry Callier, dead at 67

Callier was an American singer-songwriter, and soul, folk and jazz guitarist. Born in Chicago, Callier’s long career in music begin during the 1960s following the release of his debut album The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier in 1968. More than a dozen album and compilation releases would follow.


John Tchicai, dead at 76

John Tchicai was a composer and free jazz saxophonist. Tchicai was born in Denmark, but moved to New York City in the early half of the 1960s. Soon after his big move, he joined the New York Contemporary Five and New York Art Quartet jazz ensembles. Tchicai is recorded on Albert Ayler‘s New York Eye and Ear Control and John Coltrane‘s Ascension, both considered influential free jazz releases.


Kathi McDonald, dead at 64

Kathi McDonald was a Washington-based blues and rock singer who performed with bands including The Unusuals, Fat Jack, Guilty Pleasures, MisFits and Kathi McDonald & Friends. In 1980, she and Long John Baldry received acclaim in Australia for their duet “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’.”

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