25 April 2011

Erio Meili

We report with great regret the death late last week of our friend Erio Meili, originally from Switzerland but best known to the bluegrass world for many years now as the founder and moving spirit of the São Paulo Bluegrass Music Association (SPBMA) in Brazil, and of the South American Bluegrass Network, and as a vigorous member of the IBMA. He is survived by his wife Maria and their sons Leandro and Bruno.

Erio was a man of great kindness and generosity, combined with lively good humour and unlimited energy in the cause of the banjo (his own main instrument) and anything connected with bluegrass and related musics; just a glance at the SPBMA home page will give some idea of his exuberant imagination.

He had an active interest in Irish music (a strong element in São Paulo jam sessions), and brought his family on a Dublin holiday in the spring of 1997. He also adopted the Titanic as a running motif: many São Paulo bluegrass events took place on his 'Titanic Harbour stage', based on a benign vision of a past in which the Titanic had missed the iceberg, changed course to warmer waters, and reached its haven in Brazil.

More about Erio can be read in Bob Cherry's appreciation on Cybergrass. The bluegrass world is poorer for his loss, and our sympathies go out to his family and friends.

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