Jerry Brown left an indelible jazz mark on the Colorado Springs music scene.
The drummer and guitarist who performed at The Broadmoor, Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and as a guest performer with the Air Force Academy Falconaires died Sept. 23. He would have turned 75 on Monday.
Brown moved to the Springs in 1972, after touring through with his band The Match and falling in love with the city. He stayed on to sing and play music throughout the Pikes Peak region.
“He was a fantastic jazz drummer. He swung really hard. Nobody swung like Jerry,” said musician Lewis Mock, a longtime friend of Brown. Mock is a former house bandleader and guitarist at The Broadmoor. “He was a great mentor to a lot of young people, and just a great musician and really fine guy.”
Brown also acted in and directed theater productions at the Dublin Dinner Playhouse and Old Town Dinner Playhouse.
Brown’s dedication to the arts was passed to a new generation with his work as director/manager of Bridge Theatre, an educational program that introduced theater techniques to at-risk kids, and jazz workshops at Colorado Springs Conservatory.
In 1980, he founded Jerry Brown Productions, an advertising and marketing company that produced TV and radio commercials.
“Performing was his life, from the beginning,” said Terri, Brown’s daughter.
Brown is survived by his wife, Lynda Dunne, and three children from a previous marriage, Terri Williams, Scott Brown and Elizabeth Murray, and one stepdaughter, Katie Dunne.
Though he and Lynda were together for three decades, they were only officially married the day of his death. He was strong enough to make it through the ceremony in the morning, she said, only to die later that night.
“He always said, Lynda, if I don’t make people feel something, I haven’t done my job,” she said about his love of performing.
No funeral is planned, though there will be a celebration of life at a later date. Details can be found online at jerrysings.com.