I’m sad this morning to hear of the passing of Ron Casat.

I owe  my life as a musician to him. If you enjoy what I do, then you owe Ron a big thank you.

Musically, Ron was my brother, my uncle and my father. Everything I know about stage craft and musicianship I learned primarily from Ron. When  I was barely wet behind the ears  Ron, in that very gentle way of his, took me under his wing. Along with Gary Bird and Bill Eaglesham he taught me to be a band leader and a touring musician. He taught me how to write a song , how to interpret a tune. Like all good mentors, he did it subtly.

Ron was generous, insanely funny,and  mostly unflappable.

He’d been sick for a while and when I last saw him in February he was not in great shape, but his sister Marina brought him to my gig at the Calgary Folk Club. He had insisted. In some ways it was one of the best gigs I ever played, and I am sure that was because he was in the room, soaking it up and sending his energy our way. I could not have been more honoured that he came. We visited some and parted, as always, with a laugh.

The musical life is an endless circle of lessons learned and passed on. I try to honour Ron by lending a hand to younger musicians, because that’s how the music survives.

Tonight, sing a song for Ron.casat 2