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Published: 2010/10/12

T Lavitz 1956-2010

Endangered Species promo photo with Kenny Gradney, Richie Hayward, Jimmy Herring and T Lavitz

As announced on his website influential keyboard player T Lavitz passed away last Thursday. In late 1978, Lavitz was just 22 years old and a senior at the University of Miami’s School of Music when was invited to join the Dixie Dregs. He soon gained renown with the group and in 1981 was selected as Best New Talent by the readers of Keyboard magazine. Lavitz remained with that group through its break up in 1983 and then during its occasional reunions over the years. During the 1990s he also recorded and performed with Little Feat’s Paul Barrere, Catfish Hodge, Steve Smith and many others. In 1991 Lavitz appeared on Widespread Panic’s Capricorn Records debut and toured with that group throughout the year before rejoining the reformed Dregs. After a brief stint in Jefferson Starship during 1996, Lavitz founded Jazz Is Dead to interpret the music of the Grateful Dead in a jazz-flavored instrumental fashion, along with Jimmy Herring, Alphonso Johnson and Billy Cobham. Lavitz continued to work with Herring in a number of settings, including the Justice League and later Endangered Species with Richie Hayward and Kenny Gradney. As of late Lavitz had been teaching at the Berklee College of Music, while continuing to write and record. Electric was his most recent release.

For a bit more on Lavitz, take a look at his January 2000 interview with site editor Dean Budnick.


There are 6 comments associated with this post

makersandh2o October 12, 2010, 13:30:34

Sad news.

bigwooly October 12, 2010, 16:47:40!helped in many a long strange trips 4me.jazz is dead is a great road companion!

jacob feldman October 12, 2010, 18:18:38

I had the privledge to have known T and have him play on some of my original songs.He was a great guy and an amazing keyboard player.He composed a lot of great songs and played in the dixie dregs one of my favorite bands of all time.R.I.P brother T

Scott Brown October 15, 2010, 15:52:02

In his long list of musical accomplishments he also toured with the On Line Musical Experience during 2007 & 2008 in the Northeast.

randall mccloud October 17, 2010, 18:36:50

Tonight, I’m listening to the dregs and everything else T has played on, while drinking beer and smoking aurora indica!! T, you will be missed by me until we meet for the 2nd time! Just the opening part of “I’m freaking out” at 22 was phenomenal, but he also did so much great playing… Right up there with Mays, chick, etc..

Alexander December 2, 2010, 00:58:54

.....T. I cannot believe it, you have always had a very distinkt sence of humor, and you have always played great, you told me to “ Slow down dude”, many times, and…... R.I.P. Terry Lavitz.

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