Much Lauded Downchild Keyboardist Dies

By Keith Sharp

Downchild Blues Band keyboardist Michael Fonfara passed away Friday, January 8 after a two-year battle with cancer, he was 74 years old.

A top-notch session musician who performed with a number of major bands and artists during his prolific career, Fonfara notched credits with the likes of Lou Reed, Rough Trade, Electric Flag (with Buddy Miles and Michael Bloomfield) Rhinoceros and even performed with Foreigner on the track “Urgent” off the Foreigner 4 album which chalked up over 6 million album sales.

A four-times Maple Blues Award individual winner, Fonfara, also won a Juno Award in 2014 as part of Downchild Blues Band (Best Blues Album Of The Year for `Can You Hear The Music’) with whom he performed from 1990 until the present day.

The band, which is set to continue its 50th-anniversary tour in April of this year, posted the following comments on its Facebook page.

It is with heavy hearts that we sadly announce the passing of our dear friend and long time bandmate, Michael Fonfara….

Posted by Downchild on Friday, January 8, 2021


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