Noel M. Kaletsky, 85, passed away at his home on May 30, 2023 of peritoneal cancer. Noel fought his illness with an endurance of those half his age, working his music gigs up to mere weeks before his passing, still cracking jokes and a smile, few knew what he was up against.
Born and raised in New Haven CT, he joined the Armed Services branch of the Army and also served in the Army Band from 1961-1967. As a child Noel was drawn to music; he learned to play guitar, piano and many other instruments but wanted to play the drums professionally. That was until his father brought home his first clarinet and it was love at first trill. For Noel and the reeds there was no turning back; he became quite a virtuoso on his clarinet and saxophones (alto and soprano).
Noel’s career as a jazz musician flourished as a performer from the 60’s until earlier this year in many bands throughout the US. Connecticut outfits included The Galvanized Jazz Band, The Bearcats Jazz Band, the Hot Cat Jazz Band and Bill’s Seafood Jazz All Stars, while he enjoyed national recognition with Tex Wyndham’s Rent Party Revellers, The St. Louis Rivermen and Jeannie Kittrell’s Jazz Incredibles. His contributions to every edition of Jeff and Joel’s House Party can be found on YouTube thanks to Eric Devine (CineDevine).
His kind demeanor and natural performer’s talent earned him a huge following in the world of dixieland jazz. He was a mentor to many aspiring musicians and a brother to all his bandmates, who will dearly miss him.