Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hamilton Jazz Veteran George Arnone Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton jazz veteran George Arnone on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

The George Arnone Big Band posted the following message on their Facebook page.
The band is saddened and heartbroken to have to announce that our Founder, George Arnone, has passed away.
George has been a part of the music scene in Hamilton for decades, as a sought-after sideman in various combos and bands and of course, as the band leader in his beloved George Arnone Big Band, which he formed in the 1980’s and played in until his retirement just over 2 years ago.
As a rehearsal band in east Hamilton for many years, George has had hundreds of musicians from the Hamilton, Burlington, Niagara area go through his band.
We will miss George terribly but his name and musical legacy will live on with The George Arnone Big Band.
Here is his obituary:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Arnone surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at the Juravinski Hospital in his 85th year. Beloved husband of 60 years to Ludmila. Loving father of Cita, Patricia, and Charles. Dear grandfather of Evan, Dean, Julia, Nicholas, Blaize, Lucas, and Lee. Loving brother of Rosie, Heather, Mary, Valerie, and Doug. Predeceased by his parents Charles and Amelia, and brothers and sisters, Shirley, James, Billy, and Clifford. George had a great love for his family especially his grandchildren who he spent much time with. He loved sports and played on and coached many teams. George has been a well known saxophone player that played in countless bands over many years and was the founder and leader of the George Arnone Big Band, where he played until his retirement two years ago. He will be forever remembered for his kindness, generosity and caring nature. He will be dearly missed by so many especially his family that loved him dearly. Visitation will be held at P.X. DERMODY FUNERAL HOME, 796 Upper Gage Ave., on Friday, January 10th from 5-9pm. Prayers will be said on Friday. A Funeral Mass will be offered at Blessed Sacrament Church on Saturday, January 11th at 10am. Entombment to take place at Our Lady of Hope Mausoleum at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Parkinson Foundation or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. On-line Condolences can be made at

Bandmate Dave Baldry had this to add:
George gave me the opportunity to learn how to play Big Band music when I had no background in it...he did this for many musicians in the area.  He loved it when young people wanted to be a part of his band and he was happy to give them (and me!) a chance.  I've had many musical mentors over the years, but I think that he gave me the best chance to expand my talents and for that, I will always be  extremely grateful.  I and those who have had the pleasure of knowing him will miss him terribly. 

Links: George Arnone, More George Arnone Big Band StoriesVideo above courtesy of the George Arnone Big Band

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