January 19, 2020
Dear Family and Friends around the World,
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved husband, Claudio Roditi, late Friday evening, January 17, 2020. He was a loving husband and best friend to me for 45 years, although I never lost sight of the beautiful fact that music, particularly jazz, was his very first love!
I’m sure most of you know that in the past three years Claudio was dealing with cancer. He didn’t like the concept of “battling” or “fighting” cancer. He accepted it and felt it was more like something that he was just trying to live with. His optimistic and courageous attitude stayed with him throughout his journey with this illness ‒ right through the very end, which was at home, with me, and very peaceful. It was a relaxed release.
Claudio’s accepting approach was fundamental to his nature. He was a loving, kind and peaceful person, who thrived on the feeling of unity among people. He always had a knack for creating a good feeling among people. Claudio loved getting people together whom he felt might have common interests and would enjoy each other’s company. “A good hang,” he’d call it.
His entire life was geared to enjoyment: of Life and living it, of great music, of good food, traveling around the world playing his beloved rotary horns, meeting interesting and talented people, making new friends and visiting the longstanding ones, and maintaining his ready sense of humor. Claudio loved to laugh! He always saw the humor in situations, and frequently we were doubled over laughing about something or other.
Over the years, many reviewers of his performances have noted Claudio’s “selflessness” on stage, how he happily shared any limelight with his band mates.. He was completely inspired by the communication he felt on the bandstand. He actually felt happiest in that type of musical sharing. Perhaps it stemmed from the fact that he was an only child. He was always looking for brothers and sisters! I know many of you who are musicians could feel that deep bond with him.
Claudio’s father, Alberto Roditi, bought young Claudio his first trumpet, which Claudio destroyed in a fit because he couldn’t play it! Alberto bought him another one the next day and drove him around to see big bands (like Cab Calloway’s) that appeared in Brazil in the 1950s. As a teen, he was more widely exposed to jazz through an American Uncle, nicknamed “Tax” (his name was Harold Taxman), who moved his monster jazz LP collection from Chicago to Rio when he married Claudio’s Aunt Cida.
Claudio came to the Unites States in 1970 with a true passion for jazz. He initially moved to Boston, where we met, to study and learn to play jazz. This fire for jazz (and Brazilian music) never left him! In his last weeks he was blowing on his mouthpiece and listening to music, to the latest CD he was on: “Diva and the Boys” by The Diva Jazz Orchestra, which has been number 1 on the jazz charts recently.
It feels like it will be difficult to move through life without him, doesn’t it? I know that so many of you knew and loved him, each in your own special way. He loved you, too. He was so humbled and full of gratitude for all the caring and support all of you showed him, especially over the past few years. It made an enormous difference to him. You should know that for sure.
So how will we manage without him? I would say that one hundred percent of Claudio Roditi is in every piece of his music. Put on a CD, lay back and listen ‒ he’s there, his beautiful spirit is right there, and it’s bound to make you smile at some point.
From the core of my heart, I truly thank you all for loving Claudio and being so kind to him. I plan to create a legacy of his music (he wrote over 200 songs), his vintage performance videos and DVDs, his writings, and the like. It’s hoped that this legacy, Claudio’s enduring legacy, can serve to light a passion and nurture it for young musicians inspired by this miraculous art form called jazz.
Sending you love,