DENVER (CBS4) – A saxophone player who was a well-known figure in Denver’s live jazz scene has passed away from what his family says were complications from coronavirus. Freddy Rodriguez Sr. frequently performed at the El Chapultepec nightclub.
“Not only was Freddy a fine musician, he was a fine human being,” said bassist Andrew Hudson, a frequent bandmate of Rodriguez’s and spokesman for the family.
Hudson performed with Rodriguez at El Chapultepec on and off for nearly 20 years along with Rodriguez’s son Freddy Jr. and Tony Black. Their last gig was two weeks ago.
“Freddy recently turned 89 and was without question one of the deans of Denver’s jazz world,” Hudson wrote.
Hudson said the family is asking for privacy right now, but at some point in the future they plan to pay tribute to Rodriguez’s life with a public memorial which will include a musical jam session.
Rodriguez attended Denver West High School and performed in a military band after joining the Army. He is in the Denver Jazz Hall of Fame and in addition to regular gigs at El Chapultepec over the course of several decades, he performed regularly at Dazzle Jazz Club and was featured at at least one City Park Jazz show.