Jeff Hansel, Rochester’s premiere music and arts advocate, is heading to Hawaii in a few weeks. To say that his constant presence at events around town is going to be missed would be a gross understatement. The Rochester scene is losing one of its most reliable pillars. Here, we’ve compiled some sentiments by those especially touched by his enthusiasm over the years. Mahalo, Hansel, and good luck out there.
“Jeff somehow shape shifts and warps time to ensure his presence on any given night at multiple venues to offer words of delight and encouragement whilst photographing and sharing news about all the Rochester happenings on social media. He is a marvel of community engagement and Hawaii will be blessed to have him in their midst. Mahalo,my man!!!”
“Jeff has always been there to capture the best moments of the Rochester’s art and music scene. He’s oneof the biggest fans and supporters of everyone, literally! This city is losing a true star. Jeff will always be a member of Suite and forever a friend.”
-Winston Howard, lead singer of Suite
“Jeff is the kind of supportive audience member who realizes that one person clapping in the audience makes all the difference to the performer. He has the ability to make a musician feel really grateful to be playing a gig. He lets you know that music and art help heal the soul and the music or art you are making is doing that very thing for him. Saying farewell to Jeff will be like losing one of the cornerstones of Rochester’s music scene. He will be missed, and we’ll all need to step up.”
“What to say about Jeff Hansel…
A man whom in days of greed and ego, unselfishly gives his love and support without cost or need for recognition. A music aficionado whose depth of soul and love of art made him stand out to all of us.
A person of such heart and character, compassion and loyalty, such honesty and integrity, comes along only a handful of times in your life.
I don’t know of another person who came to support the ARTS and ARTISTS more than Jeff Hansel.
Jeff has stayed true to this arts community without fail. Supporting each of us whom have the courage to chase our dreams as artists. He challenges us to be better. Jeff is a fan who walked the walk. He has been there every time either physically, spirituality, mentally, emotionally and yes, financially, for a majority of this arts community for a long while.
A friend who would promote us, cheer us on when we were at our worst and be in awe and deeply felt contentment when we rose up to the occasion to be at best. He would sing with us, convince us we made a difference in the world just by being ourselves. Jeff Hansel accepted us without judgement. He helped all of us, in some way or another, along our paths to becoming not only better artists, but better human beings. I am honored to call this man is my friend and I will miss him greatly. His presence, his warm laugh and smile, lit up the darkest of rooms on the worst of nights. His absence will be felt by everyone in this community.
Jeff Hansel has given his all to Rochester.
Rochester should do the same for Jeff Hansel.”
“When Jeff first came to town I saw him starting to come to all our shows so I wanted to meet him after one of our shows. I’m glad I did because he truly supports local music. Over the years, I saw the same love and support that he showed us spread through the community like wildfire.
He started off as a fan, quickly grew into the best and biggest support for the local music/arts community, and is now leaving befriended by many.
This town has been finally starting to have an arts community growing and thriving, Jeff debatably is the single biggest role in that.
As his button made by John Sievers says, he truly is a ‘Local Music Hero’.”
-Kyle Truex, bassist of Push & Turn
“One of my first encounters with Jeff was at the Canadian Honker, where we were listening to local musician Jason McKenzie play guitar. Jeff was in his perfect element, surrounded by music lovers and musicians, and Jeff’s constant smile told me he was thoroughly enjoying the experience. It is abundantly clear how much Jeff is loved by our local art and music community – and ever since we learned of his eventual departure, we have all been swaying in this bittersweet moment between mourning the loss of him and celebrating the success of his future endeavors.”