Jim Ward tour cancelled after friend found murderedEx-At the Drive In/Sparta muso Jim Ward has been in Australia for the past few weeks, playing the Peats Ridge Festival and a couple of sideshows. With one show left on the itinerary — scheduled for this Friday the 6th January at the Sandringham Hotel in Sydney — Ward has today announced that he is cancelling the remaining date of the tour, after learning of a friend's murder back home in the States.
From the press release:
“We just found out a dear friend of Gabe and I has been murdered – we need to get home to be with family, friends and have the support of our gang”
The friend in question is music identity, Esme Barrera, originally also from his hometown of El Paso, Texas. The 28-year old Barrera worked at Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas, volunteered at Girls Rock Austin (a "nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls and women of all backgrounds and abilities through musical education and performance"), and helped teach special-needs children at Casis Elementary School. Barrera was found murdered inside her home on New Year's Day, after attending a local gig.
According to Spinner, the murder of the much-loved figure has prompted emotional responses from the music community she touched, including the likes of Okkervil River, YACHT and Ted Leo, as well as a deeply personal post from Matador Record's Gerard Cosloy, who blogged:
Every now and then you’ll read of someone’s passing and (with all due respect) platitudes are trotted out that suggest Mr. or Ms. so-and-so was a 24-7 ray of sunshine that beautifully touched the lives of everyone lucky enough to share their oxygen. The majority of these obits range from mild exaggeration to outright bullshit. So on this unspeakably sad occasion when Esme Barrera is unanimously recalled as a spectacular wit, an unfailingly thoughtful person and all-around-ace party starter, I’ve got to say that her friends are right on the money. And I will forever consider myself insanely privileged to have been one of them.
Read more here.
A donation page http://forouresmeb.blogspot.com/ has been set up to help the family to pay for services and expenses.
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