As many of you have heard by now, we have lost another great, local musician, as Jeff Pietrangelo passed away of a heart attack on late Wednesday or Thursday morning. Jeff lived alone, so it’s a bit unclear as to when his death was discovered.


He played on many sessions for at least the last 30 years. WAMI members will remember him as a many time WAMI nominee in the Reeds/Brass category and as a winner of the WAMI Award for Reeds/Brass just a few short years ago. He was a member of the WAMI House Band for the Awards Show, and in 2010 he was a presenter of the WAMI Hall of Fame (John Harmon) for that year. Jeff was a member of the original MATRIX and was written up in JazzTimes (national) magazine in 2011 as one of the best jazz trumpet players ever…not a bad accomplishment for a musician from Milwaukee. Jeff was 60.


Dozens of tributes are appearing on Facebook from musicians from all over. Though he was a very modest player, he had often been called Wisconsin’s finest trumpet player. In addition to performing with many jazz and jazz/fusion bands, (including the acclaimed “MadiSalsa”and the WAMI Award-winning Paul Spencer Band), he also was a regular on the show and musical circuit, played regularly at Fort Atkinson’s Fireside Theater and was an always requested session player on numerous recordings, jazz and otherwise.


Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. Jeff was 60.


(Photo courtesy of Barbara Wagner)