News of Steve Dalachinsky’s sudden death last week following a stroke came as a real shock. I had bumped into Steve & his extraordinary wife and companion of more than 30 years, poet and artist Yuko Otomo, on the F train the Friday before, on their way to perform at a memorial for the recently departed Steve Cannon.

Poet, collagist, raconteur extraordinaire, Steve was also a true friend of the music, and I had seen him read (and tell stories)—amidst most formidable company—at memorials for Jayne Cortez, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor, to mention just a few.

We were in the process of talking through a planned event we were to participate in for the upcoming Unit Structures Conference on Cecil Taylor at the Graduate Center and Brooklyn College in late Ocotber, organized mainly by PhD music student Michelle Yom.

Steve was a steadfast friend of Lost & Found and, along with Yuko, instrumental in helping us clear the ground for the project we did on Ted Joans, along with many other things.

In this time of cautious and pious reverence and calculated irreverence, Steve Dalachinsky was the real deal: he wrote and spoke from the heart, without flashing credentials. His only credentials were a crystal ear, hard won experience, and a huge heart. The clip from a film by Nicole Peyrafitte, linked below, will give you a sense.

We send profound and heartfelt condolences to Yuko, and all their loved ones.

We will miss him tremendously.

Ammiel Alcalay