Former Widespread Panic keyboardist (1991) T Lavitz (April 16, 1956 – October 7, 2010) has passed away. On 10/11/10, his website offered the following statement:
It is with profound sadness we announce that T died unexpectedly in his sleep on the night of October 7, 2010. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the world of music.
Lavitz is perhaps most known for his work as a founding member of Jazz is Dead, a Grateful Dead exploratory group. T was a frontrunning candidate for the Grateful Dead keyboard position after Brent Mydland’s passing in 1990, but the slot would be given to Vince Welnick. In 1991, Lavitz lent his talents to Widespread Panic for the band’s Capricorn debut. Following this, Lavitz would be asked to join the band them as a touring member. However, this gig was short lived, only lasting one year, but he remained close to Widespread throughout the years that followed. The respect shone from the musical world is indicative of not only the type of musician he was, but also of the kind of person he was. Lavitz was 53.
Lavitz (Right) pictured with Jimmy Herring, Richie Hayward, and Kenny Gradney
Photo: Courtesy of TLavitz.net