Longtime Umphrey’s McGee lighting designer Jefferson Waful has officially retired from touring with the band. Waful had previously announced his plans to retire at the end of this year. However, in a new note posted to his social media accounts, he revealed that Umphrey’s McGee’s recent show in Wilmington, NC was his last with the band.

As Waful notes,

While I had originally hoped to finish out the year with a big symbolic finale in Denver, I need to listen to my body. When I was 28, this lifestyle was a dream. At 44, it becomes more challenging. The good news is my recent back issues are all fixable.

Last week, I started getting regular chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and learning more about the mind-body connection. Yesterday, I tried acupuncture for the first time and felt an immediate difference in my mobility and mood. It feels like a logical time to follow that path.

I didn’t quite know it at the time, but the Wilmington show was my last with Umphrey’s McGee

Honestly, how do you follow Ocean Billy>Release>Ocean Billy>Hollywood Nights?

I’m excited to be a music fan again. And I’m excited for a new chapter. One that has not yet been completely written.

Foresight is 2020.

Thank you. I love you all.
With immense gratitude,

As the band explained in Waful’s initial retirement announcement back in May via a note titled “A New Chapter For Jefferson Waful,”

For over ten years Umphrey’s McGee has been incredibly fortunate to have Jefferson Waful as our lighting designer. His inventive style, improvisational acumen, and keen eye for detail has added a valuable dimension to the UM live experience, both for band and fans alike. With our sense of gratitude for all that he has contributed, Jefferson will be retiring from touring at the end of 2019. He will forever be part of the Umphrey’s family.

We will begin the search to fill Jefferson’s shoes shortly and are excited for what 2020 will bring. Join us in thanking Jefferson for all that he has added to the UM experience, and we wish him nothing but success on the next chapter of his distinguished career.

– Andy, Brendan, Jake, Joel, Kris, & Ryan  

Waful also added,

This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always cherish. I am incredibly lucky to have fulfilled a dream and grateful to Umphrey’s McGee for giving me this opportunity. Of course none of it would be possible without such a passionate and loyal community of fans. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

– Jefferson Waful  

Jefferson has long been lauded as one of the most talented LDs in the game. Whomever Umphrey’s gets to fill his role will have some major shoes to fill. Good luck with whatever’s next, Waful!

Umphrey’s McGee – “Der Bluten Kat” – Jefferson Waful PiP – 10/21/17

[Video: mk devo]

For a list of upcoming Umphrey’s McGee tour dates, head here.