Sunday will mark 25 years since contemporary jazz guitarist Zachary Breaux left the world way too soon. His recording label for his final album, Zebra Records, had sent this out after his tragic passing:
“As the music community celebrates Black History Month, we would like to reflect back onto the story of a real-life HERO; Zachary Breaux. Zachary Breaux’s release, Uptown Groove, was nominated for Best Jazz Album of the Year for the 12th Annual Soul Train Music Awards which will air on February 27, 1998.
The track “Never Can Say Goodbye” was a #1 NAC Radio hit, spending 21 weeks on the charts.
The accompanying video was nominated for two Billboard Music Video Awards; Best Jazz clip & Best New Artist Clip
Zachary Breaux was a father to three daughters, a husband, a guitarist and an accomplished musician.His music touched upon passion. . .one second it could be hip hop/funk, the next Coltrane, followed by a little Wes Montgomery . . . but always it was Zachary Breaux. He lived his life with a belief in, and a passion for, all people. He died. . . showing this belief in his actions.
Please don’t let his story go untold, or his music unheard.
Zachary Breaux and his family were walking on the beach in Miami, when they noticed a woman drowning in the ocean. They asked others on the beach to help, but were unable to get anyone to assist. Zachary told his wife to find a lifeguard, and he dove into the ocean to save the drowning woman. The closest lifeguard was more than two miles away and because there were no signs posted, Zachary was unaware of the dangerous riptides awaiting him that could render even a man his size and strength helpless. He reached the 66 year old New York woman (the wife of a Rabbi from Brooklyn) and began to bring her in. The riptides were much too strong and they separated Zachary and the woman. While his wife pleaded with those sunning themselves on the sandy beach to help, Zachary died, as his three daughters watched in horror. This man that believed so much in people, so much in life . . . left this life in such a tragic way. . . there must be a lesson for us to learn from his death.