Saturday, December 26, 2009

RIP Charlie Banacos

I just found out through a yoga student tha Charlie Banacos, legendary Boston area piano and improvisation teacher, passed away earlier this month after a brief battle with cancer. Globe obit here. Charlie is legendary locally for his vast encyclopedia of teaching techniques and exercises, and he no doubt profoundly influenced the teaching (and playing) technique and style of Jerry Bergonzi, Danielo Perez, and many other teachers locally and nationally. I know a lot of the stuff I got in high school that really propelled my playing forward on a nuts and bolts level came indirectly from Charlie.

Charlie is remembered by students as an unassuming and nurturing teacher, who as one student said, "made you feel like you were the only student he'd ever had." His wisdon and light will be sorely missed.

Links and rememberences as I find them- former Charlie students, please add your thoughs and memories in the comments section.

UPDATE: A tribute from bassist Jeff Berlin at All About Jazz
Warren Senders blogs about Charlie's last days.

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