The New York jazz family is mourning the loss of our dear
friend and brother, Bob Bowen.  Bob passed away Monday
night, August 30th at 11:40PM with his family present and
love all around him.  He was tragically hit by a truck in a hit
and run accident on Thursday, August 26th, and while he
fought hard and rallied over the following weekend (the
doctors placed him in a medically-induced coma, so he felt
little pain in the process), the injuries were eventually too
much for him to overcome.  We will miss him, his spirit, his
warmth, his superior musicianship, and his enthusiasm
dearly.

Bob’s passing leaves a gaping hole in both the Brooklyn and
Astoria jazz scenes and with the countless musicians who
had the honor of playing with him.  Bob performed in the
house band at Blackbird’s in July and came and sat in and
supported the music with his usual fervor on many other
occasions.  He probably did more to promote the session
than I did, forwarding my emails to his entire e-mail list more
than once, whether he was on the gig or not!  I have
frequently bragged about the quality of the bass players
hanging out at our session, saying there are usually two or three who can play any tune you want in any
key, but it will be harder to say that now because Bob was one of those guys.  His musicianship was
formidable, he knew almost any standard you could think of, but if not, he’d learn it in a single hearing.  
You couldn’t throw a harmonic curve or even a knuckle-ball that he wouldn’t catch.  He could swing as
hard as anyone and had the most adventurous spirit of anyone I’ve ever played with.  If you wanted to
take it a little out, Bob would not only grab the reins, he’d loose the horses and jump off the wagon!
Bob was a grounding presence to
many around him.  I’ve seen it with
both his kids and his fellow
musicians.  (Donations are being
accepted for his children via
paypal @:
forbobbyandstella@gmail.com).  
He may not have been an i-dotter
or a t-crosser, but his spiritual
warmth enveloped everyone with
whom he crossed paths.  I’ve
seen him say to many musicians “I
really wanted to play that tune
with you, because I remember
how good it was the last time we
played it.”   He once called me
after a session to tell me “he was still on a high from that session we played the other day” at a time I
felt like an outsider, and it gave my confidence a huge lift.  That was over ten years ago and Bob has
been doing the same thing ever since, because many have told me in the past few days that they
shared the same kind of experiences with him.  Bob always made the people who felt like they were
on the periphery feel like they belonged.
Rest in Peace Robert Emmett Bowen III, June 18, 1965 - August 30, 2010

Thanks to all who attended Bob's memorial service at the Irondale Center.  It was nice to see so many people
who loved him and nice to hear the many good things that people had to share about Bob.  The wide variety of
great music played was a testament to Bob's open spirit and formidable musical talent.   We miss you Bob!  We
will love you and remember you always.