I became friends with Jeff three years ago when I had a need for a piano player in my wedding band, and Jeff came highly recommended. He is one of the most talented musicians I've ever known; he plays with passion, with vigor, with tenderness, and with virtuosity. He has a gift.
Jeff moved to South Jersey from upstate NY in the mid-80s to take advantage of the wealth of musical work available in Atlantic City at the time. With a bachelor's degree in music education and master's work in music composition, Jeff has made his living as a fulltime musician playing the showrooms and lounges of AC, as a high school music teacher, as a private piano teacher, and as a Church music director. Jeff is married, and together with his wife Melissa they have two adult children.
Just over ten years ago, what Jeff thought was a toothache turned out to be stage 4 throat cancer. Ironically, while Jeff has never been a smoker, the years of playing smoke-filled casino lounges likely lead to his cancer. He was given weeks to live. Jeff fought as hard as he could, through the daily radiation treatments and through the chemotherapy. He managed to win the hard-fought battle, but the treatments took their toll. Needing to provide for his family, Jeff began making music again as soon as he was able, and has been doing so since.
Four months ago, I and the rest of the band noticed that Jeff, already slight and still showing the effects of his first bout, was rapidly losing weight. We all feared the worst for our friend, our musical mentor and elder statesman of our talented group. He was out of remission. Jeff was once again diagnosed with throat and mouth cancer. His treatments are once again extremely difficult. Jeff is doing his best to stay optimistic, but he is unable to perform and unable to teach, and completely unable to earn. In addition to the regular costs of living, his medical bills are piling up and he doesn’t know where to turn.
Jeff urgently needs our financial help. We are currently planning a benefit performance to raise funds and if you are in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area we hope you will join us. As information is shared, you will be able to find it on the band’s Facebook page at facebook.com/goodyblueshoes . For everyone else around the world and in the meantime, we hope you will donate to our campaign to support Jeff, no matter how small. Thank you.
- Taylor Tomasello
- Jean MacPherson
- Jim & Lori Dalzell & Family
- Steve Vogt
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