Volume 115, No. 4April, 2015

From left: Keith Copeland, Eric Knutsen and Shirley Siegelman.

From left: Keith Copeland, Eric Knutsen and Shirley Siegelman.


Keith Copeland, 68, a drummer and a member of Local 802 since 1963, died on Feb. 14. Mr. Copeland grew up listening to his father Ray, who played trumpet with Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and others. By 16, Mr. Copeland was already sitting in at Minton’s with Barry Harris and Charles McPherson. A whirlwind career was born; in short order, Mr. Copeland played with Stevie Wonder, Sam Jones, Johnny Griffin, the Heath Brothers, Billy Taylor and Hank Jones. Other collaborators included George Russell, Frank Foster, Slide Hampton, Milt Jackson, Joanne Brackeen, John Dankworth, Rory Stuart, Stanley Cowell, Paul Bley, Howard Alden, Chris Connor, Stan Getz, Ray Anderson, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Tom Harrell, Phil Woods, Roger Kellaway, Stephane Grappelli, Teddy Edwards, Sir Roland Hanna, Sonny Fortune and countless others. Mr. Copeland taught at Eastman, Rutgers, Banff, Queens College, Long Island University and the New School University, among others. His love of teaching brought him to Germany, where he was appointed a professor at two college campuses and where he eventually made his home. He continued to tour around the world until his recent retirement. He is survived by his wife Ute, sister Jill, brother Darrin, son Wesley and grandson Jonathan. A memorial service will be held in Frankfurt, Germany on April 21, followed in May by a service for the celebration of his life on Long Island and the burial of ashes at the Pine Lawn Cemetery in Farmingdale. For more information see or e-mail


Eric “The K” Knutsen, 65, a bass player and a member of Local 802 since 1977, died on Feb. 4. Mr. Knutsen was a member of the Blue Smoke band since 1972. A native of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Mr. Knutsen worked at clubs, conventions and Atlantic City casinos with Blue Smoke, including live radio concerts, TV and commercial soundtracks for MTV. In 2004 and 2005 he won a Bronze Telly Award and a Platinum Aurora Award, for his playing on an indie-produced TV pilot spy film submitted to VH-1, “The Crusaders” a punk rock takeoff of the mid- 60s British TV spy series “The Avengers.”
Mr. Knutsen is survived by his stepdaughter Tiffany, brothers John and Roy, nephews Shaun, Ryan and Matthew, and nieces Tara and Katherine.


Shirley Siegelman (born Shirley Mesmer), 91, a violinist and a member of Local 802 since 1945, died on Feb. 9. Ms. Siegelman was a graduate of Juilliard, where she studied with Hans Letz. In 1945, she joined the USO and became part of a string quartet with violinist Gloria Stroud, violist Margaret Purvis and cellist Genevieve Kniese. Together they performed for injured soldiers during World War II. Upon her return to the U.S., Ms. Siegelman won a chair with the Dallas Symphony. Later, she landed a job with the New York City Opera where she played until her retirement. Ms. Siegelman’s husband was violinist and Local 802 member Joseph Siegelman, who was a student at the New York College of Music when they met. The two attended Tanglewood together. Mr. Siegelman died in 2006. Their daughter Janet died in 2005.


Lloyd Buchanan, bass
Frank Glazer, piano
Alphonse Harewood, drums
Mary Ann Messenger, drums
Charles Sabai, saxophone
Kenneth Kamal Scott, vocalist
George Stell, trombone
Rita Thompson, piano
George Zinsser, saxophone