A message from Adam Niewood

Adam Niewood posted this on Facebook today:

We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Gerry Niewood, Coleman Mellett, all the passengers and crew on flight 3407, and the poor innocent man who died in his own home. It is tragic and surreal.

The outpouring of phone calls, emails, text-messages etc is truly overwhelming. All I can say is, it’s too bad Gerry isn’t around to witness the impact he made on all of you.

I plan on getting back to all of you personally – but please understand the need to hunker-down with my family. I’m sure you all understand… There were over 1000 emails yesterday – the phone rings every minute. The voice-mail boxes full. …overwhelming.

That said – Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, funny stories/anecdotes… etc. None of it goes overlooked or unappreciated.

I do not want anyone to feel badly or second guess reaching out – if you haven’t heard back – It’s simply b/c I’m trying to deal with the list of wierd things… For example – trying to get my father’s car out of the Airport parking without a claim ticket..? No one thinks they will have to drive through 2 parking lots full of at least 4000 cars looking for their Dad’s car…

This is all so hard to process – lots of pieces to pick up.

The memorial service is being planned (in addition a separate performance with music) – although nothing finalized as yet. News will go out as soon as we know more.

Thank you all for your support.

Sincerely on behalf of the whole Niewood family…

– Your friend, Adam…

Gerry Niewood, continued

Many readers have left moving personal stories about Gerry Niewood in the comments section of my previous post. I encourage you to read them and learn more about this wonderful musician and human being.

Gap Mangione passed along this video featuring Chuck Mangione, Gerry Niewood, Chip Jackson and Joe Labarbera in the mid-70s in Monterey, CA. My thanks and sincere condolences go out to Gap and the Mangione family.

RIP, Gerry Niewood

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Saxophonist and flutist Gerry Niewood died in the plane crash in Buffalo last night. He was a wonderful player whose saxophone was heard most famously with Chuck Mangione and on the Concert In Central Park album by Simon & Garfunkel.

Niewood was one of the first horn players I ever knew by name because Paul Simon yells out his name after a solo on that live album. I’ve always been a huge Chuck Mangione fan, too, and own all the LPs that Chuck and Gerry made together, many of them recorded in their native Rochester.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Niewood in 2004 at Jazz90.1. He was very gracious, humble and funny. I interviewed his son Adam in the fall of last year. He’s also a very talented saxophonist, and he talked quite a bit about Gerry during the interview.

LISTEN to the interview with Adam Niewood. He starts talking about his dad halfway through.

My condolences go out to Adam and the entire Niewood family. What a sad, sad day.

UPDATE: Here are some of the many press stories about Gerry’s passing: