The local eighty-seven-year-old points out two members of jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione's band were killed in this week's New York plane crash. The Buffalo News in reporting the passengers:
Mangione's band was to play a concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic benefiting the Food Bank of WNY and Buffalo City Mission.
Mark Bailczak of Syracuse.com:
In a statement to The Associated Press, Mangione said: "I'm in shock over the horrible, heartbreaking tragedy."
Syracuse bassist Tom Brigandi was a member of Mangione's band alongside Niewood for four years, in the last 1990s.
"Gerry, he was the greatest. He played everything," said the audibly shaken Brigandi, who hadn't heard the news until my phone call. "Gerry's been at my house (in Syracuse) for dinner every time we were though town. I was at his house in New Jersey.
"It's hard for me to even talk about it," Brigandi said, taking a moment to collect his thoughts. "He went with the flow. He was a laidback cat, to have a glass of wine with you and hang out. He used to teach me stuff about music. He was a great guy."
Blogger Byzantium's Shores happened to be at the Buffalo airport at the time of the crash