The live music community is rallying around enigmatic saxophonist Skerik as he continues to recover from a shoulder/neck injury that has forced him to pull out of many 2023 gigs.
Skerik’s frequent collaborators Scott Amendola and Wil Blades have launched a GoFundMe campaign for the saxophonist alongside a letter to the “music community and beyond” explaining the unusual situation he’s currently facing: “Our dear friend Skerik needs our help!! While on tour in April, Skerik woke up in the morning with a seemingly normal tweak in his shoulder and neck. It quickly escalated into a much worse situation and after a gig that night, he could barely move. It’s a strange injury that after seeing medical doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, rolfers, massage therapists, there is still no clear answer as to what is going on. As of now, he hasn’t worked in 6 weeks and has continued to have to cancel major gigs and tours. Unfortunately as musicians, we do not have sick leave or paid time off, any time we are sick or injured we take a loss both on income and expenses.”
Skerik has been unable to perform since tweaking his neck and shoulder while on tour in April. First, he was forced to pull out of his annual trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, where he was supposed to take part in a number of special performances including Live For Live Music‘s Warship My Organs and The Funk Sessions shows. He later had to cancel scheduled record release shows for his Sound Cipher project with Tim “Herb” Alexander (Primus) and Timm Mason as well as an upcoming residency at Seattle, WA’s Earshot Jazz.
Skerik was supposed to spend much of his spring and summer on the road as part of the re-tooled Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade for the reunited band’s Summer of Green tour. As Claypool noted in a social media post before the launch of the tour, “FROG DOWN!! FROG DOWN!! As Colonel of this here Fearless Flying Frog Brigade it falls upon me to inform all of you ‘frog-heads’ of the unfortunate setback to one of our troops. The mighty ‘horn-honking’ Skerik has sustained a shoulder injury which is keeping him away from his Brigade duties for the time being. It is a mighty blow to the Brigade but, like good frog troopers, we are forging on with all dispatch. It is our hope that Lt. Skirackington, as he is known amongst the troops, will be back in the ranks and armed with his horn soon.”
While we’re holding out hope that Skerik will heal up and make his way back into the Frog Brigade lineup as the tour continues this summer, the unfortunate reality remains that in his current state, he has no gigs or potential for income in the near future. As Amendola and Blades explain on the GoFundMe page, “All of this adds up to [tens] of thousands of dollars, including lost expenses such as flights, hotels and medical expenses that have started to grow. We greatly appreciate any help financially, or if you can’t help by donating, please share this far and wide!”
Visit the GoFundMe page for Skerik and make a donation to the cause here.