In Memoriam: Bruce Wayne Felter

Feb. 23, 1947 - Dec. 20, 2007

Bruce Wayne Felter

BRUCE WAYNE FELTER, Feb. 23, 1947 - Dec. 20, 2007.
Resident of Martinez, California.

Beloved husband of Cathy Christiansen Felter, and survived by loving son, Robert Felter of San Francisco; father, Donald Felter of Montana; sister, Donna and brother-in-law, Matthew Kekumu of Hawaii; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Craig and Christy Christiansen of Oregon; nieces and nephews, Tawny Kekumu, Pumihana and Maligi Uta, Mahiai Kekumu, Grayson and Joy Christiansen, Erin and Evan Sutton; and numerous great-nieces and nephews. Bruce was preceded in death by his mother, Charlotte Felter; and his daughter, Stephanie Felter.

Bruce grew up in San Francisco, attending Mission High School and San Francisco City College before beginning his thirty-five year career as an electrician with IBEW Local 6. He worked for numerous SF contractors including Minato Electric and Crown Electric.

Bruce's love of music began when he was a child and continued throughout his life; playing and collecting drums. Recently he became known as one of the premier collectors and researchers of Rogers drums in the United States. His first love was jazz music but he played with numerous types of groups throughout the Bay Area for over forty years. Lately he was accompanying vocal classes at the Jazzschool in Berkeley and playing with "My Trio", Peter Eden on piano and Dean Murdoch on bass, accompanying his wife Cathy on vocals.

He loved life, cooking, fine wine and his animals. Bruce was quick with a joke, generous with his talents, and truly loved his friends and family.

Visitation will be held from 3-8 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 27, with Celebration of Life Services at 11 a.m., Fri., Dec. 28, at the Civic Center Chapel of Wilson and Kratzer Mortuaries, 455 24th St., Richmond, CA 94804.

Donations can be made to the Scott Morris Memorial Scholarship, c/o the Jazzschool, 2087 Addison St., Berkeley, CA 94704.

Contra Costa Times, 12/22/2007


Art of Jazz Singing Concert, Fall, 2007

Goodbye to a great good friend. I had so much fun teaching my Jazzschool classes with the help and support of you, Bruce. You really liked girls in the nicest possible way, and we love you back. You encouraged all of your fellow musicians with your humor, warmth, dedication, and joy of playing. I will miss you so much and particularly every Sunday afternoon in class. Thank you for everything. You are one of a kind.

Love, Maye

Sign the memorial guestbook
at the Contra Costa Times.

SF Chronicle
Obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle, December 23, 2007

click to enlarge
Bruce Moments
When jazz players are feeling -- and playing! -- the music well together, it's called finding the pocket, the groove. Bruce used to joke that our pocket was so deep it was a trench. We rarely failed to find it. Sometimes when we both hit an accent or some frill exactly together, I'd look over and he'd already be looking at me, a wry grin on his mug.

At the memorial ceremony today, Peter reminded me that every gig had a Bruce moment. It's true. There would always come a time when Bruce would decide it was his chance to do something -- just one thing, perhaps as brief as a single hit -- really loud. No one noticed but we; it wasn't tasteless or inappropriate, it was just Bruce. Bam! There it was, the Bruce moment. And then it would be Peter giving me the little grin.

-- Dan Keller, 12/28/2007

All of us at Jazz Camp West are terribly sad to hear that our friend Bruce Felter is not with us anymore. He was a very kind and generous person with great talent who was very giving to all of us. We feel very lucky to have known him and to have shared some wonderful moments together.
-- Priscilla Rice

I think my first meeting with Bruce was at Jazz Camp perhaps 4-5 yrs. ago. What a great smile...good drummer who was so supportive of others and their music...a very outgoing, loving human being. I must say that when I think of Bruce and Cathy, I think of a team, a couple that seemed to love life, but more than that...they loved life with music!

He and his beautiful spirit will be missed... Love and support to you, Cathy.

-- Shanna Carlson

I am so sad. I had no idea of Bruce's passing. My first thought was, "Too young! Too young!" My heart goes out to Cathy.

I remember Cathy saying to me years ago at that little Vietnamese restaurant in Alameda where you guys had a regular gig, "You can sing with My Trio," and it took me a while to "get" what she meant -- that her trio's name was My Trio and that I could sing with them. Now, it appears I've waited too long.

I remember Bruce's quiet, grounding presence at Jazzschool singing classes and at Jazz Camp. I did not get close enough to appreciate the side full of mischief. I was at a Christmas party at Cathy's and Bruce's wonderful house one year and they were the warmest and most generous hosts. It was a cookies-straight-out-of-the-oven-warm-apple-cider quintessential picture book Christmas feeling when I walked into the house and it helped me to start healing from a difficult time in my own life.

I am so sorry for Cathy's loss, for Dan's loss, and for Peter's loss.

Thank you for letting me know through the JazzCamp list.

-- Christina de Souza

Bruce's chair at the JazzSchool

Bruce's chair at JazzSchool.
Cathy delivered a memorial performance there.