Denver jazz legend who died from COVID-19 complications leaves a music community in mourning

Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 21:18:30-04

DENVER – A Denver Jazz legend who died from coronavirus complications is leaving behind more than a legacy in Denver’s music scene.

Freddy Rodriguez, Sr., died Wednesday from complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to his son, Freddy Rodriguez, Jr.

His loss now leaves a big hole in the music scene.

“He had a big heart and he just loved music so much,” said Tony Black, a musician and friend of Rodriguez. “I’ve been in denial for a while because it just seemed unreal.”

Black said he played a show with his friend earlier this month. Days later, the talented saxophone player was in the hospital.

“He was saying, ‘I don’t really feel good, but I think I’ll get out in a couple days,” Black remembers of a conversation between the two.

Rodriguez would end up in a ventilator, passing away days later from COVID-19 complications.

The reality of it all is still hard for Black, especially when he remembers their last show together.

“He was playing great, you know, you could tell he just wanted to be there, and he just sounded so great and it just…. Everything just seemed to happen so fast. It just really hurt.”

The saxophonist no only leaves behind a loving family, but a legacy and a music community in mourning.

“It was just a joy to know somebody like that. He’s given me some good traits of how to look at music, how to look at people. How to look at life,” Black said.