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Brian Sjoerdinga

February 2, 1959 January 16, 2019
Brian Sjoerdinga
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Obituary for Brian Sjoerdinga

Brian Sjoerdinga, age 59, a resident of Plainfield, formerly of Boston, MA, New York City, NY, Phoenix, AZ, and Chicago, IL, passed away on January 16, 2019, after battling cancer. He was born February 2, 1959, in northwest Indiana. Beloved Fiance of Louise Vargo. Devoted Son of the Late Mary and Kenneth Locke. Fond friend of many.

Brian grew up in northwest Indiana and began playing the saxophone at age 14. He graduated from Boone Grove High School in 1977. He entered Berklee College in May 1977 as a performance major, eventually changing his major to Jazz Composition and Arranging/Diploma. He studied there through 1980 and performed with the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra and the Berklee International Dues Band. He studied under Andy McGhee, Joe Viola, Richard Hermann, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson, Michael Gibbs, and Herb Pomeroy. In 1978 he joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He also taught Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute at Center Music. In 1981 he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra for two years and then joined the Buddy Rich Band for two years and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He has worked with notables including Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Doc Severisen, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Lou Rawls, Donna Summer, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Moody Blues, Bobby Caldwell, Barry Manilow, and many others. A jazz musician of considerable experience, he has led and recorded with his own groups and performed with Tom Harrell, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Terrell Stafford, Jimmy Heath, Charles McPherson, Ira Sillivan, Jeffry Hamilton, and Benny Golson as well as many appearances with numerous local leaders.

His Teaching experience included 4 years at Arizona State University’s Jazz Studies program where courses taught included Jazz Improvisation (Beginning and Advanced), Jazz Arranging, and Jazz Fundamentals (a course designed to develop basic skills in novices). Other duties included conducting the Large jazz Ensemble, coaching various small groups, and overseeing numerous student concerts. He was a private woodwind instructor at Phoenix Arts Magnet High School. He taught 2 years at Northeastern Illinois University, where he also studied Music Education from 1996-1998.

Brian played numerous Broadway show performances including A Chorus Line, City of Angels, and Will Rogers Follies among others. He played the circus and at the 1996 Democratic National convention in Chicago, IL.

Brian has also performed with Classical Groups such as the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Festival Orchestra, and Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

Returning to Chicago in the mid 1990’s, he played with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago jazz Ensemble, The Steve Cooper Orchestra, the Del Bergeson Orchestra, to name a few. He joined PM Music Center as a wood wind repair technician for 17 years and was a member of NAPBIRT.

An avid baseball fan, Brian was always rooting for the Red Sox and White Sox. He was a sports fan of basketball following the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. He also loved college basketball. His hobbies included listening to good music, weather, cooking and eating, and nature watching.

His Family would like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Joliet Oncology-Hematology Associates, Ltd, who helped him with his struggle with cancer, especially Dr Suh.

A Memorial Visitation will take place from 1:00-6:00pm with a Memorial Service held at 1:30pm on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Overman-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services 15219 S. Joliet Rd. Plainfield, IL 60544.

Interment will be private.

For those wishing to leave a lasting tribute to Brian’s memory, donations to either Joliet Area Community Hospice at 250 Water Stone Cir. Joliet, IL 60431, www.joliethospice.org or Joliet Oncology-Hematology Associates, Ltd. At 2614 W Jefferson St. Joliet, IL 60435, www.jolietoncology.com would be appreciated.

For more information, please call (815)436-9221.


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Previous Events

Memorial Visitation

Saturday

2

Feb

1:00 PM 2/2/2019 1:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 2/2/2019 6:00:00 PM
Overman-Jones Funeral Home

15219 Joliet Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60544

Overman-Jones Funeral Home
15219 Joliet Rd. Plainfield 60544 IL
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

2

Feb

1:30 PM 2/2/2019 1:30:00 PM
Overman-Jones Funeral Home

15219 Joliet Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60544

Overman-Jones Funeral Home
15219 Joliet Rd. Plainfield 60544 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Joliet Area Community Hospice

250 Water Stone Circle
Joliet, IL 60431

Joliet Oncology-Hematology Associates Ltd.

2614 W Jefferson St
Joliet, IL 60435
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