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Thomas Aiello (July 19, 1949 - September 22, 2015)

posted Oct 7, 2015, 9:17 PM by David Stuart   [ updated Oct 24, 2015, 12:16 PM ]

Tom Aiello, a jazz musician who provided the soundtrack to W 45th Street for the past 30 years or more, has passed on. He was in poor health in recent months and was taken by ambulance in the early hours of Sunday September 20 to Roosevelt Hospital, where he died shortly thereafter.

Tom was a fixture on this block and lived and played his flute outside 360 W 45th St. You saw him there day in and day out, spring, summer and fall, and wherever you were on the block you heard his flute and his exuberant shout of "Hey!" punctuating the breaks. Tom was an accomplished musician--saxophone and flute--and in earlier days played gigs at the Village Vanguard, Blue Note, other clubs both big and small, and even Carnegie Hall. He was a kind soul, always had a good word and a ready joke, and held court on his stoop, being sociable with his many friends, neighbors and passersby. Hopefully you said hello, stopped to chat, or dropped him an occasional dollar. He was kind to children, learned their names and played songs for them spontaneously or by request. He was a big presence on this block. Rest in peace Tom--you will be missed.