Butch Baldassari’s passing yesterday, far too early at the age of 56, has brought out just the mix of sadness and praise that you might expect from his mandolin peers.
He touched the lives of countless mandolinists, from his fellow professional practitioners, to the thousands of students he taught through workshops, books and instructional tapes and DVDs.
“Butch was a very good friend. Never knew anyone more dedicated to educating and entertaining about, and with a mandolin. I have always been inspired by his work ethic and talent.
Saddens me deeply and just too close to home to talk about now. Our deepest sympathies to Sinclair, Blake and all of Butch’s family and friends.”
Sam and Lynn Bush
January 10, 2009
Along with the entire acoustic music community, I’m saddened by the news of Butch Baldassari’s untimely passing. Butch was one of the rare individuals who, while adhering strictly to the Monroe doctrine, also had the artistic depth and breadth to embrace many other musical styles wholeheartedly ‚Äî with passion, grace and wit. He was a friend, a colleague and an inspiring presence in our world. Rest in peace, Butch ‚Äî you did a great job.
David “Dawg” Grisman
I hope we can all celebrate the life of a true gentleman, a great mandolinist as well as an awesome teacher. But most of all a dear friend. I had the pleasure of recording, teaching and just hanging out with Butch on many occasions. The last time we spoke, he talked about the time he asked Don Stiernberg and I to play Monroe’s Evening Prayer Blues with him at Kamp Kaufman, and that the only thing better than two mandolins was three mandolins! I was honored he asked and feel very fortunate to have known him. We’ll continue to keep his family in our prayers. Rest in peace my friend.