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Randy D. Kaye

Randy D. Kaye 1947-2008 EAST CHATHAM, N.Y. Randy D. Kaye, 61, of 868 New Concord Rd., East Chatham, died Saturday August 16, 2008 at Berkshire Medical Center. Born on May 20, 1947 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Alan Kaye and the late Leona Witty Kaye, he attended schools in Brooklyn. He was a golden glove boxer and ran track. Mr. Kaye was a lifelong musician; he began playing professionally when he was only 15 years old working with Duke Ellington, among others, and would have his father pick him up at the clubs after a gig. He was hired by Tony Scott to play in his band along with Paul Chambers and Jaki Byard. Shortly after he was introduced to clarinetist Perry Robinson and Dave Izenson and went on to form the Unitrio band. Randy was also working with vocalist Sheila Jordan and in early 1969 he became the drummer for Jimi Hendrix, who was putting together a new band, favoring more experimental instrumental music. Jimi Hendrix's manager put an end to that project shortly before the Woodstock festival in August of that year. It was at this time that Randy joined renowned jazz musician and composer, Jimmy Giuffre whom he would play with for the next 25 years. It was Jimmy Giuffre that brought Randy to the Berkshires. Randy enjoyed spending time in Europe and toured with the French based band, Three Windows. He was an adjunct professor at New York University, a drumming instructor at Wood Brothers Music for more than 15 years, an instructor at Rock On band camp at Berkshire Community College, a member of the Irish Sister City Jazz ambassadors, traveling to Ireland in 2007. He taught at Simon's Rock College and recently had been teaching out of his home. Randy recorded more than a dozen albums with various musicians throughout his career. His students will fondly remember Randy's greeting, "hey, maestro." Aside from music, Randy enjoyed baseball and was an avid Mets fan. Besides his father of Brooklyn, he leaves two sons, Justin Kaye of Orlando, Fla. and Jordan Kaye of Tampa, Fla.; his longtime companion, Elaine Fairall; and his former wife, Danielle Kathleen Hopkins. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for Randy Kaye will be Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 6 p.m. at the DWYER FUNERAL HOME, 776 North St., Pittsfield. Calling hours at the funeral home will be Wednesday from 5 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Randy's children in care of Justin Kaye.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Aug. 19, 2008
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