Local resident Jay Bennett passed away this weekend in Champaign-Urbana. The talented, multi-faceted musician and producer was 45.
Bennett, a graduate of the University, is known not only for his work with Wilco, but also as the co-founder of the 1980’s local power-pop act Titanic Love Affair, as well as Steve Pride & His Blood Kin and a multitude of solo recordings.
Bennett’s work with Wilco was early, adding the instrumentation and arrangement elements that broke the act into national attention with not only Being There, and Summerteeth, but also the highly-revered Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Placed in the national eye because of Wilco and documentation in the film “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” about the recording process for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Bennett’s immense talent and dedication to the art of music is not something that could be overlooked.
Bennett had currently maintained a private studio in Urbana, Pieholden Suites, named after one of the most lushly instrumental tracks on Wilco’s Summerteeth. He was said to recently be in the midst of work on another solo album.

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