Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brandt Abner, Skinnerbox Keyboardist, Vocalist, Composer RIP

Skinnerbox gathered for a reunion show in 2010.
Brandt Abner is third from the right.
Last week, the NYC ska scene was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Brandt Abner, Skinnerbox's keyboardist, vocalist, and one of its composers, who passed away on September 13, 2013 at age 43.

Abner was a founding member of Skinnerbox, writing and performing on their debut 1989 cassette Instrumental Conditioning (much of which can be found on the Special Wild 1989-1994 compilation CD) through all of their albums--1993's Tales from the Red, 1997's What You Can Do, What You Can't and 1998's Demonstration. Abner also worked with Jeff Baker/King Django for the Version City compilation and the Roots and Culture album, and played keys on some of the tracks for The Toasters' This Gun for Hire (see Abner's discography here).

At The Selecter show last night at The Gramercy Theater in NYC, The Rudie Crew (trumpeter Dan Dulin and saxophonist El Husey are former members of Skinnerbox and close friends of Abner) dedicated their song "Life" to Abner during their set.

The Duff Guide to Ska joins the entire NYC ska community in offering our sincere condolences to Brandt Abner's family and friends.

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The video below features Brandt Abner singing "Promise" (which he wrote) with Skinnerbox at the Subborn Records 20th Anniversary Party at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn in May 2012.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I would drop you a line.
I am currently working with Pete Chambers at the Coventry Music Museum in Coventry, England.
The new museum is looking to open its doors very soon and I thought I would just let you know.
The museum, (a social enterprise) is situated in the heart of Coventry within the Two Tone Village; a courtyard including a Two Tone Cafe, memorabilia store and a dedicated ska, retro and vintage clothing shop.
We are showing how far reaching ska music has spread around the world and how Coventry bands take a place on the world stage. I just wondered if you might be interested in helping us with that in any way.
Could you possibly send a comment about the first time you heard ska or do you have any memories of listening particularly to any 2Tone produced records or other Coventry stars such as King, Hazel O'Connor or The Primitives.

If you would like to visit the museum in advance of the official opening I am sure Pete would be more than happy to give you a tour and speak with you in detail about the work that is taking place.

Maybe you could attach the 2Tone Village or the museum's website's link to your page?

The museum relies on the good will of donations to keep running so anything you could do to help this community project would be very gratefully received.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss this any further please do not hesitate to contact me,

Kind Regards,
Lorna Pepler

(project management consultant to creative design studio)

email or

SnakePlissken said...

Brandt was such a great friend to so many people. I was very close with him at Laguardia, and had the privilege to share the love of music with him every day for a few years. I was also close with his wife, Julie, who was likewise a classmate of mine at Laguardia. His passing was a terrible blow to a large number of people. Once in a while, I'll have a dream that Brandt is still alive. That is, I'm sure, just one example of how much he is missed and loved. -CA