Local band to release CD, money to benefit late member’s family

Many musical artists are often honored posthumously or have albums that are released after death.

On Sunday, a local musician will be honored posthumously.

Ken Vendette Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 12 and was a member of the local band, Goic. Prior to Vendette’s passing, he had been planning a CD release party for the album, “Miawliin.” Vendette had written and produced the album with other band members, Ray Rosario, Brandon Bey and Dale VanValkenburg.

“Kenny had already made plans to release it. We already had the CDs cut and ready to go. A week after he had passed away was when he was trying to plan this and it never came to fruition for him,” VanValkenburg said.

VanValkenburg and Vendette were cousins and he was the last member to join the band. Vendette and Bey had known each other since they were young. Both men kept in contact as they grew older and started playing music together. Later Rosario joined. This will be the first CD the band is releasing.

“(Vendette) wanted to make music just to make music, and let people hear it. We were never planning on going out and trying to sell out arenas … we were just trying to see what people thought about the first CD,” VanValkenburg said. “If they liked it, we were going to make another.”

Vendette was also trying to send the CD out to production companies to gain exposure musically. According to VanValkenburg, Vendette was a well known musician in the area.

He recalled a conversation with Rick Napoli, owner of Cool Little Music Shop in Fredonia.

“He really touched a lot of musicians in the area. There are a lot of fans in the area,” he said. “I was talking to Rick from Cool Little Music Shop. He said in the past couple years, he has had kids come in and when they’re buying guitars, say Kenny either showed them how to play or played with them.”

The release party will be held on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Rookies On the Lake. CDs will be on sale for $20. All proceeds from CD sales will benefit Vendette’s family for funeral expenses. VanValkenburg said he would like to purchase a headstone with the proceeds. If you cannot attend the benefit but would like to purchase a CD, call VanValkenburg at 203-7194.

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