A Remembrance of Todd Buffa.
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The sun came up this morning. How, it's unsure, because in the wee dark hours of Jan. 27, 2012, came the saddest of news. Todd Allyn Buffa, 59, a beautiful spirit with an engaging smile, zest for life and love of friends and family, had died.
Still, a couple of hours later, there was a brilliant and glorious sunrise, and the most beautiful beginning to a day we've had around here for some time. Todd would have wanted it that way.
Born in Wisconsin, Todd spent his childhood living around the world, notably in the Middle East and Canada, until his family settled in Green Bay during his high school years.
A celebrated jazz vocalist and arranger, Todd was a three-time Grammy nominee and rose to national acclaim as a member of the group, Rare Silk. After a decade of international touring and recording, Todd moved on to Colo. where he taught at the University of Colorado at Denver. More than a decade ago, Todd returned to Green Bay where he immersed himself in teaching, performing, writing music and adjudicating at music clinics.
He released his first solo album, 'Curious Orchids', in Feb., 2011, and was in the studio working on a second album planned for release in 2012. When asked earlier this year, "why now?" he smiled and responded simply, "The time is right, man."
That was typically Todd. He spoke mostly about the present and the future, not dwelling too much on the past. Todd was charming. With his quick, dry wit, that wry smile, and the twinkle in his eye, one couldn't help but enjoy being with him. While he would admit to being a romantic and a bit of a dreamer, he also relished the stylish, worldly and slightly edgy image he projected.
Curious and intelligent, Todd was a voracious reader. He was a devotee of film noir and the classic detective fiction works of Raymond Chandler, to whom Todd had dedicated one of the last songs he had penned.
He was a perfectionist when it came to his music. Todd liked to think of his creations as being artisanal, crafted with great care and love, and they were. But, while he was hard on himself, he was always generous to others, and kind enough to be patient with his students and critics as they struggled to keep up with him.
Todd was a wonderful artist, a great thinker and a natural philosopher. He had greatly enjoyed the last year recording, writing and planning his resurgence and working alongside his friends.
Todd loved to spend hours discussing music and business and just about anything. He was a wonderful conversationalist and an equally good listener, and as long as there was great coffee nearby, he was happily both.
Todd Buffa was always the gentleman. He loved his long-time partner, Lynn Beardsley, deeply. He said so often, and it showed.
Todd dearly loved his son, Avery, and his daughter-in-law, Irma. He relished the time he spent with them. And, he was increasingly happy engaging in lively discussions with his brother, Jay.
Todd had a special bond with Lynn's children, Dillon, Tyler, Austin and Adrienne Beardsley. He especially enjoyed their banter and humor during dinners and cookouts together. He took exceptional delight in Lynn's young grandson, Jameson Beardsley.
Yes, somehow, the sun came up on Friday in a bright sky completely unspoiled by cloud cover. Even in the difficult times, Todd Buffa arose each morning full of hope and optimism. What better remembrance of him could we have than a sunny sky filled with promise.
Open house memorial service Feb. 11, 2012, starting at 3 p.m. at 3101 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI.
In lieu of flowers, please donate or support your local community music or arts programs.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Jan. 28 to Jan. 29, 2012