Monday, May 14, 2018

Michael Keys Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of local singer/piano player Michael Keys, who recently lost his brave battle with cancer. We will post more information here as it comes. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

There was an outpouring of love for him on social media.  Here are a few quotes:

Karen Dowson (his daughter)
He didn’t want anyone to pity or treat him any differently so, that’s why many of you didn’t know he had been fighting stage 4 lung cancer for the past 4 & 1/2 years now. He was a fighter and stubborn but, he went peacefully and I heard the nurses were playing his music until the end. I love that!
Corey Lueck (Smoke Wagon Blues Band)
Very sad news, Mr. Keys was a great musical friend. I will certainly miss our times on stage and his weekend calls to chat about the state of the local music scene. He was a great advocator for making sure up and coming bands were part of the festival scene in Burlington Ontario, and he fought the city on it on many occasions. He use to book us for shows in the early days including The Burlington Rib Fest and we sure appreciated it. Was there anyone who loved to play more then Michael Keys ? RIP my musical friend
Russel McAllister (Hamilton Bucket List Band)
He was a fine musician and was always pushing for more work and better money. His last few years were spent in and out of Juravinski Hospital for Chemo and other torturous undertakings. He fought this horrible disease with class and dignity. His demeanor through this ordeal was amazing. He pulled no punches and was persistant in promoting our Good Friday Jam that he has been part of for over 10 years. I'll miss his Boogie style and left hand attack on the keyboard. Thank you Ron Russell for notifying me of this loss. My heartfelt condolences to Mike's wife Genny and the rest of their family. Rest well, Mike.
Eric Bower (bandmate)
He knew the music business as well as he knew his keyboard and fought hard for the betterment of musicians AND never shied away from providing valuable business advise to operators and promoters. Sure, we can debate and disagree on the way he delivered that message but there was nothing wrong with the message!
A word from Lou, our blogger
I had the honour of meeting Michael quite a few times and was always impressed by his musical skill and dedication. I will miss him greatly. 

2 videos above courtesy of Rob Stonehewer

Video above courtesy of DonnaLeescamera

Blast from the Past: Michael Keys Recognized by Blues Hall of Fame

Links: Michael KeysMore Michael Keys Stories

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1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, I got to know Mike well before cancer changed his personality, sapped his energy and finally prevented him from doing what he loved, playing the keys and singing. Mike was often outspoken and opinionated but he was also a talented musician with the rare ability to understand business, sales and marketing. He was a good friend who will be sadly missed.