Tim Bell has Died at 75

Tim Bell
Tim Bell

TIM BELL, 75, on Oct. 18 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Bell was an in-demand reedman and professor of music at University of Wisconsin-Parkside from 1975 through 2009, a specialist in jazz. He taught countless students, founded the Parkside Reunion Big Band in the early 1990s, and performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, touring Broadway shows, Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre and national headliners including Aretha Franklin and Harry Connick Jr.

He played his final concert in Racine as part of the Racine Concert Band the night before he suffered a fatal heart attack. He also hosted a Saturday night radio show, Classic Big Bands and Beyond, on WGTD-FM 91.1. “The ‘beyond’ lets me flip out and play anything,” he said.

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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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