Stacy Phillips memorial celebration on Sunday

Following the tragic passing earlier this week of celebrated fiddle and resophonic guitar performer and educator Stacy Phillips, his friends in New Haven, CT have scheduled the first of several memorial celebrations in his honor.

Phillips suffered a massive heart attack last Sunday, June 3, while traveling between two gigs. He was discovered in his car, having pulled off to the side of the road, still clinging to life. Rushed to the hospital, he spent two days in ICU until his family determined that recovery was unlikely, and allowed him to slip away quietly.

Given that no funeral service will be held, friends will use an already scheduled gig this Sunday, June 10, at Café Nine in New Haven to mourn his loss and celebrate his life. Stacy had previously arranged to donate his body to Yale Medical School, and that has been done.

Sunday was to have been a show with his band, Stacy Phillips and his Bluegrass Characters, and the club has agreed to give over their space instead for an event titled, A Celebration of The Life and Music of Stacy Phillips. Starting at 1:00 p.m., a brief memorial service will be held, followed by an afternoon of music in his honor.

A number of groups with whom Phillips has performed will be on hand throughout the afternoon.

  • 1:00-1:30 memorial service and family reminiscences about Stacy, led by Cantor Malachi Kanfer
  • 1:30 Nu Haven Kapelye
  • 2:30 Afro-Semitic Experience
  • 3:30 (Stacy Phillips and) his Bluegrass Characters
  • 4:30-6:00 Open mic

There will be no fee to attend, and doors will open at noon.

The open mic is meant for both spoken and musical tributes to Stacy. Everyone is invited to bring their instruments and participate, but anyone who wants to be guaranteed a spot is requested to sign up in advance by contacting David Chevan at

Information about additional tributes will be shared on Sunday.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.