With deep regret, I share the sad news of the passing of Indianapolis jazz piano great Claude Sifferlin, at the age of 69. Claude was a musical hero of mine, who I first saw perform in 1986 at the Chatterbox. The pure beauty of his otherworldly harmonic architecture, the intellectual power and spiritual grace of his improvisations, and the simultaneous fathomless complexity and quiet simplicity of his playing was one of my favorite things in the world. Claude was an inspiration that truly altered my life's trajectory, and that of so many others. I will never forget the moments of grandeur he found for us.
I did not know him well as I would have liked, but heard him perform probably hundreds of times through the years and had the sublime opportunity to record him on a session at Hit City a few years ago. The fact that he even knew my name was a great pleasure to me. He was a true gentleman and one of those rare virtuosos whose ego did not overshadow his amazing gifts. We at Different Beat Radio would like to offer our condolences to his family, collaborators and friends, and there will be musical celebrations - to both honor his infinite spirit and pay some earthly medical expenses - at the Jazz Kitchen on March 31, and at the Chatterbox on April 8.