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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Kali Z. Fasteau (1947-2020)

Kali Z. Fasteau

Multi-instrumentalist Kali Z. Fasteau passed away this past November. Fasteau was from a musical family and traveled far from her native Paris, living for a while throughout the world, before settling in New York. Fasteau was an active musician, writer, and educator and released a number of albums, including 2014's Piano Raptures, which was reviewed here on the blog. Fasteau also worked with the pianist Bobby Few, who passed away this past week, on the recordings Making Waves (Flying Note, 2004) and Expatriate Kin (CIMP, 1997).

Arts for Art founder and Vision Festival organizer Patricia Nicholson wrote a short tribute in an email shortly after Fasteau's passing:
"Kali Z. Fasteau was a strong independent voice in the FreeJazz movement. She was one of the few women who played a part of the musical revolution in the '70s performing on seminal recordings with her husband Rafael Garrett. After his passing she went on to perform and collaborate with many of the legends of this music."
In a Facebook post, ESP-Disk wrote:
"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Kali Fasteau. She and then-husband Donald Rafael Garrett, as Sea Ensemble, released a profound album on ESP-Disk’ in 1974 and made two more great albums for Italian label Red Records in the same era. As a leader, she formed the label Flying Note to release her music, first on cassette tapes and then CDs, and was prolific. A superb saxophonist, pianist, and singer, she also played flutes, viola, cello, drums, and instruments from around the world."
ESP-Disk made a recording from their 50th Anniversary Concert (11/17/0213) available for download via Bandcamp.


Anonymous said...

Kali was veeeery concerned about the situation with C.
All who knew her better, were more than surprised and shocked, when they noticed
her passing as she was a very healthy person in every regard just preparing her
home in upstate NY. On the day she died, she´d been very active ......
It´s very mysterious.
Kali was a true multiinstrumentalist, check her great recordings with her partner
Rafael Garrett called the Sea Ensemble and later recordings on her own label
Flying Note.
A very conscious and sensitive artist left us.

mamacita said...

I am shocked to hear about Kali. I was so happy that she sold her Harlem place and moved into her cottage where she seemed to be doing well. I don't know what happened but if you know, please let me know. In addition to being an amazing musical artist, she was a freedom fighter. She was a real friend and I'm so sad to find out through an internet search (after leaving messages and emails that were unreturned), that she passed. Love, Marcia

mamacita said...

She passed away from an acute asthma attack at her home.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked. I watched her enthusiasm as she prepared her space and she planned for the future. I realized too much time had passed a well and couldn’t reach her and here I am. So dang close in the same town yet so far away when she needed help. I will miss my friend’s fire and generosity

Unknown said...

I'm so sad to hear this. I didn't know her well. I met her about 20 years ago. As a musician I'm very far from where she was coming from musically but I will always remember her as being very sweet and kind, very likeable as person. I heard her play a few times with her group and then we ended up by playing on the same anti-war concert in 2005. I was playing straight ahead jazz and she was doing her thing. I don't think I ever saw her after that but we were on each other's mailing lists for a while and I would google her name from time to time.

D. Santee said...

Kali Z. was sent to my home in Southern Italy by some mutual friends in the Women’s Party in Naploli and was the loveliest houseguest I’ve ever had. Not only her extraordinary musical talent, beauty and humor but her story telling and enthusiasm for life cemented a permanent invitation to any home I went on to make in the world. I lost contact with her recently and now I know why. I will think of her as long as I live.

The world of free jazz and independent women artists and thinkers will be forever inspired by her Spirit.

Thank you Z. I love you.

Diane Santee

Anonymous said...

It too was a shock to me to find out Kali had passed away so suddenly. I was her real estate agent in NYC and we were in touch daily including several emails the night before she left us. Both her attorney and I couldn’t reach her for 2 weeks to sign her sales contract.
It was her dream to leave the city and retire in her country house. She valued her health tremendously but in the end God had another plan for this amazing woman. RIP dear Kali

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Kim. I live in New York. I recently found in an old storage unit hundreds of multiple albums by Kali Z Fasteau plus original demo tapes as well. I know she passed but I was wondering if she has any relatives or ppl that would like them back please send me an email at I hate to toss them. I'm not looking for money or anything I just wanted to give anyone close to her the opportunity to get them back.