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David Tasgal, z"l

From Brian Bender:

photo of David Tasgal from Wholesale Klezmer website, http://www.ganeydn.com/wkb.html

It is with a heavy heart that I want to announce the passing of one of my closest friends and favorite musical collaborators, David Tasgal. David was killed in a bicycle accident this past Monday near his home in Greenfield, MA.

David was a brilliant musician (clarinet, violin, cello, piano) and composer. He was a kind, generous and creative teacher of many, many students over a long teaching career. He led and composed for numerous youth orchestras, and published a very innovative series of string method books.

David was just beginning one of the happiest periods of his life. He was married to Faith Ann Kaufman a little over a year ago. Faith's son Jake was starting to really bond with David. I can't help feeling that all three of them were robbed of many beautiful years together as a family.

I had the pleasure of playing with David for the past 15 years in the Wholesale Klezmer Band, as well as for the past 4-5 years in the Yiddishkeit Klezmer Ensemble with my wife Anna Sobel.

David and I had an incredible rapport with each other both as friends and as bandmates. We knew each other's repertoire (and original compositions) inside and out, and we could play for many hours together without reading a note of music. I view playing music as entering a sacred space, and I shared that space with David more than any other musician, especially during the last 5-6 years.

My last memory of David is the weekend we spent together (with my family) just over a week ago traveling to Bristol, VT, where our klezmer trio performed a concert/dance at a Sukkot festival. It was one of our best shows ever, and we had a great time simply enjoying each other's company.

I sat down to play the piano last night and I could swear that David was there with me! Then the tears flowed.