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Posted at 2:58 PM ET, 02/22/2005

In Remembrance of Pam Bricker

By washingtonpost.com

It pains us greatly to inform our readership that Washington's music scene has experienced an enormous loss.

Jazz vocalist Pam Bricker took her life this past Sunday night.

Bricker's career in this area extends back a couple of decades, but she really became an institution with her long-running regular gigs at U-topia, alternately playing solo or with pianist Wayne Wilentz. This magic was captured on her 2001 recording, "U-Topia."

She also made her presence known on the international scene through her work with Thievery Corporation, lending her talents to their "Mirror Conspiracy" album and several touring stints.

We'll have more news as it is available, in the meantime you can check out this Eric Brace piece from our archives:

Pam Bricker: Tops on My List (The Post, May 29, 1998)

-- Rhome

By washingtonpost.com  | February 22, 2005; 2:58 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Comments

Such a beautiful vocal talent. What a loss for DC and music lovers all over.

Posted by: Minu | February 23, 2005 6:53 AM | Report abuse

I am at a loss for words...an amazing talent, she will be missed dearly and remembered fondly.

Posted by: aychica | February 23, 2005 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Pam had a unique talent - she was comfortable in many styles of music and had great warmth and humor...I'll miss her.

Posted by: JohnA | February 24, 2005 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the one thing that comes out of this is that at least the Washington area music community will start supporting artists with an outreach program. Depression is a disease, and artists tend to experience it as much or more than others.Pam would want this.....

Posted by: Scott Y | February 24, 2005 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Pam was like Johnny Carson - she did it so well, made it look so easy, and was so available - Sunday nights at U-topia at no cover - it was easy to take her for granted. Part of the landscape, as Eric Brace's article says. But she was as deep as they come as a musician. Please everyone, check out "U-Topia", and hear her knock song after song out of the park, starting with her joyous, effortless, buoyant take on "Lucky to Be Me." I hope the Post will not take her for granted and will do a full-length apprecation on this gifted artist.

Posted by: Lisa Moscatiello | February 24, 2005 10:07 AM | Report abuse

There are no words for a multitude of feelings. I am so thankful that I got the chance to see her often in the space she loved to be in. Performing / Singing. I always left thinking Wow! I respected Pam's artistry and her commitment and love to music immensely. A true professional that not only made it look so easy, but always had a kind word of encouragement to always share with me or anybody that loves jazz. I looked up to her. I will miss her kindness and amazing talent.

Posted by: Liz Briones | February 24, 2005 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The world is irrevocably changed (and not for the better) with her passing...
She was a unique world-class talent and made it look so easy.
My condolences..hn

Posted by: Henry Nigro | February 24, 2005 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Pam was my mentor...my teacher...my dear friend. I will deeply miss the smiles, hugs, laughs and cries we've shared. She will never be forgotten and will forever be standing next to me on stage whispering words of encouragement. Her musicanship stands as the purest example for all creeds of musicians. She had the sweetest soul and gave all that she could to us and the world asking nothing in return. For that we have been truly blessed by her time here on earth. I only hope that now she finally feels no pain. All my love to her son and the rest of her family.

Posted by: Michelle Walker | February 24, 2005 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Pam will be missed by many, many people in this community. She - and all of you - are in my thoughts.

Posted by: Jim McIntyre | February 24, 2005 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Even in The Netherlands we are mourning the loss of dear Pam Bricker.
At The Northsea Jazz Festival she and her band ( Rick Harris, Louis Sherr, Tommy Cecil and Toni Martucci) brought the audience on their feet in The Hague, while she was performing. Only the crème de la crème of Jazz performers play at this Festival and she really belonged in that category.
My deepest condolences for Gareth, Blake and the rest of the family.
your Dutch friend

Posted by: Mary Joyce Hardey | February 24, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

there's a remembrance book at:

Posted by: Michael Plant | February 24, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Though I haven't seen Pammy in 20 years, I am soooo sad to hear this. I treasure my memories of her. So many, many people loved her back then, I can't imagine how many more thousands love her now.

Posted by: Clarissa Kensho Fetrow | February 24, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry,

worth reading/posting at a remembrance book here: http://pub46.bravenet.com/guestbook/3867946140

Posted by: Michael Plant | February 24, 2005 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Just after moving to the D.C. area in 1985, I went to a Woodley Park club and heard Pam sing. I was blown away by her talent and talked with her afterward. We hit it off--loved a lot of the same music and singers. When she learned that I was a tenor singer, she encouraged me to audition for a vacant Mad Romance slot. I got the gig and had the thrill of singing with Pam for five years. We were so alike musically. I was always awed by her talent and am sorry that we were out of touch in the recent years. I can't really describe how I feel about her sad departure from this world, but I will remember her as an amazing musician, and most of all, a rare, lovable person.

Posted by: Eddie VanArsdall, aka Eddie Vann | February 24, 2005 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Pam and I worked together a few times with the Char-Lyn Jazz Society back in the late '80s and few times in the early 90s. Pam was someone who I will never forget. As I watched her perform with such ease and respect for jazz, I always knew that she had a style that many would aspire to model. She had such grace and humble confidence on stage, she drew her audience in with every melody and creative note she sang. Washington has lost a beautiful talent. She will be missed.

Posted by: Jeri Frye | February 24, 2005 7:41 PM | Report abuse

PAM BRICKER WAS A FABULOUS JAZZ SINGER AND MOVED ME MANY TIMES TO PLAY THE PIANO WITH HER WHILE SHE SANG HER BEAUTIFUL SONGS TO ME AND TO ALL OF US THAT LISTENED.WE MISS HER TERRIBLY AND HER VOICE .

Posted by: RUDY G. HARDEY | February 24, 2005 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I MET PAM BRICKER A LONGTIME AGO IN THE HENLEY PARK HOTEL WHERE I WAS A GUEST AND I LISTENED TO HER FABULOUS JAZZ SINGING WITH MY FRIENDS.I WAS INTRODUCED BY MARY AND RUDY HARDEY WHILE MARY WAS HER MANAGER AND SO I BECAME ALSO A GOOD FRIEND OF HERS LISTENING TO ALL OF HER SONGS AND I WILL MISS THAT TOO A LOT.

Posted by: CRUZ A ALVAREZ | February 24, 2005 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I am saddened and shocked by this tragic news.
This is a major loss to our music community, and to the world jazz scene.

I first heard Pam when she was singing with Rick Harris at The One Step Down years ago, and they sang " Baby it's cold outside", where they would trade parts, and Pam did the most convincing Louis Armstrong I have heard yet!

I also remember hearing her at the Nest lounge, with David Kane, and being amazed at her ability to so easily go from a Benjamin Britten piece, to a bossanova in portuguese, to hard charging Ella scat, in one set, all executed brilliantly!

I had the fortunate circumstance to play piano with her on fridays for the last several months of her life, and will never forget it. She raised the collective level of the band every time with her command of the music, and was always very humble when I told her ( every set ) how much I loved working with her.

My favorite recording of hers is the lovely ballad, "Our Love Rolls On", recorded with David Frishberg at Gantt's studio.

We will all miss you, pam.

Posted by: Dan Lamaestra | February 24, 2005 10:17 PM | Report abuse

she will be missed, but it was her decision, and that should be respected.

Posted by: joffe | February 24, 2005 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I am totally shocked! What a loss to the entire DC music scene. I will always miss you, Pam.

Posted by: Roger | February 25, 2005 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Pam, thanks for all the great music and especially for your great spirit.

Posted by: David Kane | February 25, 2005 2:34 AM | Report abuse

I am terribly saddended by this huge loss of humanity and talent, sad for Pam's family especially, and also her friends and the community who received so much from her beautiful spirit. She patiently and kindly gave vocal lessons to me and I was incredibly lucky when she agreed to perform at my wedding, along with Wayne Wilentz, Dave West and Rick Harris. My husband and I loved coming to Utopia on Sunday nights to her them play. We gave them almost no guidelines at our wedding because we knew how versatile and professional they were and we loved everything they played together. I'll always cherish my memories of Pam.

Posted by: Deb Huckans | February 25, 2005 8:46 AM | Report abuse

And yet despite the high esteem in which every poster on this list (and many thousands besides) held Ms. Bricker, not _one_ of her solo, duo, or group CDs is available locally. All "out of stock" or "out of print" or "not in the system" at any of the large music or mixed-media outlets. What does this say about the possibilities for even a very-talented artist to maintain the sort of presence in the marketplace that allows new listeners to become fans?

Posted by: Jay Gee Gee | February 25, 2005 9:01 AM | Report abuse

For a brief time in the late 70's, Pam was living in Western Massachusetts. She was writing guitar-based music in those days.
One of her songs, "Right This Minute" remains a brilliant and luminous piece of song craft. The last time I heard her sing was in New York, the late 80's. Doesn't matter. The voice stays with you.

Posted by: Joshua Stone | February 25, 2005 9:04 AM | Report abuse

First Danny Gatton and now Pam Bricker. It's a dirty shame. Rest in peace.

Posted by: Rufus | February 25, 2005 9:04 AM | Report abuse

She was like a magnet. Whether it was her voice or her personality you couldn't help but be drawn to Pam Bricker. I've heard most of the well known stars of jazz over the last 35 or so years. I even had the pleasure of seeing some of them with Pam. From my view, the only thing Pam didn't have going for her was their fame. No one's music has consistently moved me the way Pam's does. I will always be grateful to Rick Harris for introducing me to this wonderful musician and beautiful person. Since first hearing Rick's stellar group Mad Romance (now getting close to 25 years ago), I have been left with so many songs rolling around in my head that have Pam's voice permanently attached to them. This is the one that keeps popping up over the last few days:

Yesterdays, Yesterdays, days I knew as happy sweet sequestered days
Olden days, golden days, days of mad romance and love
Then gay youth was mine, and truth was mine
Joyous free and flaming life forsooth was mine
Sad am I, glad am I, for today I'm dreaming of, of yesterdays

Posted by: Dave Statter | February 25, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Pammy, how I wish I had reached out to you! I knew you were hurting. I also know those closest to you did everything they could to help, wishing they could do more. My heart goes out to Gareth, Blake, Peter, Wayne and Jim, who were there as much as humanly possible. Pam, we miss you so!

Now is time to examine our lives to see how we can reach out to people we've been meaning to connect with, and to appreciate better those we're with. We may not be able to save the most troubled lives; we can certainly make a difference on many levels.

Wayne, Jim, and I will be at U-topia Sunday (Pam's steady gig) and are inviting friends to stop by, remember Pam, play some music. The musicians are contributing their pay to help the family, and the club will make a contribution as well. Also, Wayne plans to have sale proceeds from their cd go to the family as well.

Love, David Jernigan ("Big Bird")

Posted by: David Jernigan | February 25, 2005 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Everytime I hear of someone taking his/her own life, artist or otherwise, I wish that I or someone else had been there to prevent it, whether I knew them or not. It's time to further promote our understanding of depression as a disease, without stigma or shame, so that we are all better prepared to prevent the next loss to suicide, and to
work on even better methods of treatment for this illness.

Posted by: Jan | February 25, 2005 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I will miss you so much, Pam. There is now an enormous and painful void in our lives and the music community. I am so lucky to have known and studied with her and am grateful that I have one of my lessons recorded so I can still listen to her voice guiding me and us both laughing at my mistakes. I learned so much from her and will cherish the time we spent together. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Janine Wilson | February 25, 2005 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I will miss her, and her world-class contribution to the DC music scene. I first saw Pam at One Step Down years ago, then most recently at Utopia. Unforgetable - always!

Posted by: Denise | February 25, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Such a tragic loss. A musical talent without equal. I will always hold dear our CD collaborations. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends and fans.

Posted by: Tony Gil | February 25, 2005 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I cared greatly for Pam as a person and musician and am very saddened by this news. I'm just finishing up a clinical social work degree and wish I could have helped in someway in her hurt. I wasn't close enough to to her to know the extent of her hurt. She described her life growing up in the City Paper interview.

I've heard her for years at Utopia and elsewhere. She was a very generous soul, spent time thinking about how to help society (with her husband Gareth) and was very real. She taught two of my friends singing.

She kindly agreed to sing at my wedding with Patrick de Santos on "Vivaldi's Concerto in D-minor for 2 Mandolins," and "What is this thing called Love?" and solo on "How deep is the ocean?" and "Wonder" by Natalie Merchant. I have her video taped singing these tunes. Paul Pieper and Victor Dvoskin backed them up.

Her last recording was a live performance at Utopia and is my favorite. I gave ten of these away as Christmas gifts this year. This double cd can be bought at Utopia on U Street.

My life has been greatly enriched by Pam. I and the community will miss her greatly.

Posted by: John Cornelius | February 25, 2005 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I had the pleasure of working with Pam several times and always eagerly awaited those gigs. Pam came by a public gig in Silver Spring several months ago and sat in with us and just sounded fantastic as always. Shortly after I first met Pam I asked her to sing at my wedding reception. My family dug out that video last night and we once again heard Pam swinging and being so masterful! From the first moment I met her she treated me like I belonged in her elite group of musicans and without ever having heard me play a note, putting me at ease instantly. She was always so much fun to hang out with and was really like one of the guys. I even remember her once calling a tune in an unusual key and afterwards telling the musicians "didn't mean to bust your balls!"
I never heard her sing a bad note or do anything contrived. It was always just about sheer musicality with Pam.
I still can't believe she's gone. I'll miss her dearly and I know I'll think of her often. What a great loss for the DC music scene and beyond. There must be some great jam session going on with Pam holding court next to the jazz greats of which she belonged next to.
Pammy-we miss you and loved you so much.
My heart goes out to your family and your many many friends and fans.

Posted by: Steve Herberman | February 25, 2005 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Pam combined great knowledge and musical skill with the ability to emotionally touch a listener.After years in music I can say that Pam is one the very few I have met who combined these gifts. I am lucky to have been able to hear her,and I am even more bleesed to have been able to perform with her.My thoughts are with her family.I wish Pam peace at last.

Posted by: Chris Bacas | February 25, 2005 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I was so saddened to learn of Pam's passing. The one lesson we might all take from this is that we must all do more to help those with depression and advocate with our medical system. Those with depression and overwhelming psychic pain need and deserve a chance to receive quality treatment. I hope this tragedy will help move us all to do more to help those in need. My deepest sympathy to Pam's family and friends. I am sure you tried your best. She would want you be strong. God Bless you and keep in this time of need.

Posted by: Charlie Williams | February 25, 2005 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll remember Pam as one who always offered a wave whenever I came in during a set. Her warm-hearted smile always put me at ease and brought out my best. When she sang it was as if it was only for me. And however greedy, I knew that everyone around me felt the same way.

Posted by: Markusha Kelner | February 25, 2005 10:36 PM | Report abuse

i am blessed to have heard pam sing many times, in a variety of band combos, but none as magical as her artscape 2003 appearance with thievery corporation. the band doesn't necessarily highlight pam's brilliant range and diversity - but, when she took the stage that night, she was the center of the universe - all eyes and ears were hers. at once, pam sparkled like the brightest star, and sang with mind-blowing integrity. for me, this was pam's essence - that blend of soulful talent and pure humility. i pray that artists with depression find the support and resources they need...soon. wishing much healing for pam's family and friends.

Posted by: holly m. | February 25, 2005 10:39 PM | Report abuse

When I heard her sing, 25 or so years ago in Northampton, Mass, I thought then- and still now- that she was easily one of the best singers I've ever heard, and a very sweet person. I am so sorry.

Posted by: Doc Iacovelli | February 26, 2005 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I have been a fan of Pam's for years and am saddened by our loss of a lovely and talented artist.
I wish I could shout to the world to visit this site http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/ and read what it has to say and then share it with ANYONE they feel is depressed. By understanding the root cause of the act, we may prevent further deaths from suicide. This site saved my life four years ago and I have never considered the act again.
Rev. Keith Wright
President,
The United Deist Church
http://www.uniteddeistchurch.org

Posted by: Rev. Keith Wright | February 26, 2005 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Ever since her CD with David Frishberg and the song, "Let's Eat Out", I've been a fan of Pam and her music which quite frequently got Sunday airplay on the 'brunch'. I guess without knowing it, my 'goodbye' to her came a few weeks ago when I played her version of "Superstar"... I probably mentioned something about her on the air. After the 'brunch' is done, I email a copy of that week's playlist to all the artists whose music I played. Pam would have gotten a copy of the list which, at the very bottom, in a section called "ONE-LINER-NOTES", I wrote: "P.BRICKER... do you still perform at the club, utopia"

You'll be missed kiddo!! xo

Posted by: al santos/WJZW-FM Sunday Brunch | February 26, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

God...I only saw her once at Utopia a few years ago and I remember saying to myself "Lord! Look at her!!" She was standing on top of something a box perhaps and beltling her guts out like nobody's business. I was totally mesmerized by her performance that day and not at all surprised to learn that she was shy...like me.
Although the D.C. music scene is small, I didn't know her persoanlly and that's my loss. But I do know that she was highly regarded and loved by Wayne Wilentz (who I know personally) and others that I feel as if a piece of me knows her too.
I understand depression all too well and my heart goes out to her son and her ex-husband. She is very missed. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Posted by: Rene Edwards | February 26, 2005 8:00 PM | Report abuse

A brilliant vocalist! Pam could do it all. I first heard Pam in the late 80's-early 90's. She was terrific. Later, in the mid-90's when I began singing, I met her again through some other singers and had the opportunity to hear her on many occasions. A wonderful voice has been silenced on this planet but Pam will continue to sing in the other world with those wonderful singers that have gone before her.

Posted by: Jacqui Simmons | February 27, 2005 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I am very sad at the news of Pam's passing. I hadn't seen her for a long time and hearing this awful news brought back all of the years I spent as part of the jazz community in Washington when all of us, the musicians and singers, would drop in on each others gigs at the end of any given evening to listen and catch up with each other's lives. Pam was at the core of that scene and was a unique talent. Her contribution to the great "Mad Romance" vocal jazz group as well as her subsequent solo careeer will never be forgotten.

I wish her family comfort and a way to cope with this loss. And to Pam, I wish her the peace that eluded her here.

Iris Benjamin

Posted by: Iris Benjamin | February 27, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I've posted a personal extended appreciation of Pam at http://davidkanemusic.com/pam/ for those interested. There's also a couple of rare soundfiles of us playing together (at the bottom of the page).

Posted by: David Kane | February 27, 2005 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I was shocked and saddened to read of Pam's passing this morning. I first heard Pam singing folk songs back in Summit N.J in the early 70's. She was a friend of our family growing up and I was thrilled to rediscover her when I moved to northern Virginia. My wife and I saw her perform a number of times at different locals, a Thai restaurant in Arlington, at brunch in a downtown DC restaurant and of course at Utopia. She always made a point to come over and say hello to us and made us feel special for being there. We were so proud to hear her on the Garden State sound track and hoped that it was just the beginning of even greater, well-deserved, things to come for her. We will miss her very much.

Posted by: Eric Dagradi | February 28, 2005 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm stunned and saddened by this news, and being very remotely connected,unfortunately
I just came across Thrv.Corp. last week and
had heard the name many times before, I fired off, my usual introductions, as I do a radio show in the midwest and pride myself on being indy to a fault. I stay away from the industry, on purpose, so news travels sometimes slowly. I see tons of artists products all the time. I feel funny writing this, because I did not know Pam or hear her music, but I did my show this last Sunday 2/27/05 and was off on my
usual bent and had brought the song Lebanese Blonde from the soundtrack of Garden State. The following is the actual
Playlist Note I put the song Lebanese Blonde right after Within You And Without You by the Beatles mainly because of the sound and sitar work it was a perfect fit in my book and did not find out about her passing until today Mon. 2/28/05. It is my opinion that music runs deeper than we will ever know, when it is from the heart.

Love You - The People - I Love You - 1968
Around You - Gypsy - In the Garden - 1971
I Should Be Dreaming - The Moon - Without Earth - 1968
Within You And Without You - The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers L.H.C.B. - 1967
Lebonese Blonde - Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy - 2000
Spanish Faster - Ringside - Debut (Ringside) - 2005
Struggle - Ringside - Debut (Ringside) - 2005
New Slang - The Shins - Oh. Inverted World - 2004

Sure wish I could have seen her perform
and it serves it to say that we all need to pull together, because so much is lost
without ever knowing what lies ahead and finding we "never glimpse the truth - then it's far too late - when they pass away".
George Harrison - 1967

D.Durst - NGQ Music/KCLC 89.1 - 2005

Posted by: Dusty Durst | February 28, 2005 8:11 PM | Report abuse

After seeing Pam's obit in the Post this morning, I'd like to reiterate Lisa Moscatiello hope that the Post does a full-blown appreciation of Pam. I was very dissapointed in the piece. I don't think it does Pam's life and art (and influence on DCs music community) justice, and it goes off on weird tangents that I found inappropriate for an obit. At 18, she was in love with her music teacher and thought the sexual revolution was the "cat's meow"? When I was 18, I thought "Dust in the Wind" was one of the best songs ever written, but I sure as hell hope that's not a hallmark of my obituary.After seeing Pam's obit in the Post this morning, I'd like to reiterate Lisa Moscatiello earlier hope that the Post does a full-blown appreciation of Pam. I was very disappointed in the piece. I don't think it does Pam's life and art (or her influence on DC's music scene) justice, and it goes off on weird tangents that I found completely inappropriate for an obituary: At 18, she was in love with her music teacher and thought the sexual revolution was the "cat's meow"? When I was 18, I thought "Dust in the Wind" was one of the best songs ever written, but I sure as hell hope that's not a hallmark of my obit.

Almost everyone that I've talked to today felt similarly that the piece was rather cold, tangential, and didn't capture nearly enough of what made Pam (and her talent) so special to so many people.

Posted by: Gareth Branwyn | March 1, 2005 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I just heard this sad news last night, and on the bandstand. Pam was/is such a beautiful and uplifting spirit to anyone and everyone with whom I ever observed her interaction. I am so sorry for all of us to be denied that perennial smile and enthusiastic greeting upon which we could depend when she walked into the room. That, and her beautiful, precise, soaring voice will always remain in my memory. My condolences to her closest ones, and to the world for its loss of this wonderful woman and artist.

Posted by: Phil Cunneff | March 1, 2005 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I've taken a while to write anything here, because, songwriter I am not, I've been at a loss for words. I am missing Pam, myself, and I want to add to the voices here to send out my sincere condolences to Pam's family and close friends.

I was fortunate to have been a vocal student of Pam's for 1 or 2 years, although I lost touch with her when I stopped taking lessons some time after she started teaching at GWU. Pam was a wonderful teacher. She had much to offer, she had high standards, and she was so warm and encouraging.

Of course, I regret now that I didn't go out more often to hear her sing (on those evenings I stayed home because of the weather or because I was tired). But my husband and I did get to see her perform many times, and though not professionals ourselves, it was clear to us that Pam was special - that she was not only such a talented musician, but that she also shared much of herself when she sang.

I am so saddened by the pain that she must have felt, and for the loss to her son, her ex-husband, her other family members, and her close friends. And also for the loss to the world, which was so frustratingly slow to recognize what she gave to all of us with her music, her art, her heart. But I am very grateful for all that she gave me, a student and fan.

Posted by: Kelly Brown | March 1, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I read the obit today with great sadness.
I loved Pam Bricker. I loved her voice, LI loved her spirit. She was who I wanted to be, bringing joy to all who heard her. I wish that I had known her better. Many a Sunday night, i'd sit at the bar in Utopia in my own pain, and she would lift me up out of my sadness. I wish that I had been there for her.

Posted by: Lynn | March 2, 2005 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Fred and I have only just learned of this terrible loss to the Washington Music Commuity as we return from being out of the country. I remember seeing Pam perform for the first time at Clyde's in Chevy Chase eight to nine years ago about the same time the Satin Doll Trio started performing together. I sat in awe and listened to what inspires me still today. This tragety is very difficult for me personally. Depression has been something I have struggled with much of my life but through this parallel I find comfort in knowing that Pam's voice will continue to enlighten and inspire our community.

Posted by: Patrice Ferris, Satin Doll Trio | March 2, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

When I close my eyes and listen to the CD U-topia, I can still see and hear Pam singing the Brazilian song, E Priciso Perdoar. Over the years, I have taken many friends to listen to her sing and they all became instant Pam devotees. Everyone that knew her loved her and the way that she sung like an angel and touched your very soul with her beautiful music and voice.

You can easily place her music among the great female jazz vocalists, but she had a style all her own. It is a tragic lost, not just for the DC music community, but for the world and for those who were never had chance to hear her sing live. True genius is often not recognized by the masses until after the person is no longer with us and transcends to legend status.

May her family and friends be comforted to know that she brought joy and happiness to all of those who had the pleasure of knowing her and hearing her wonderful music.

Pam, we love you and will miss you dearly.

Posted by: Andre Biscoe | March 3, 2005 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I met you only a few months ago through my friend Andre and became an instant fan. More than the best singer I ever heard, more than a first class performer, you were a shinning spirit that filled the room through your voice and presence. I was hipnotized.

Alfonsina and the Sea by Violeta Parra: "Only God knows the anguish that befriended you, what old pains your voice silenced, to lay craddle in the singing of the sea shells."

My biggest sorrow is for your son and then for all those that will never see you perform. My condolences to those close to you and all who love you.

Posted by: Marta Hines | March 3, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

This is a devastating loss for the DC jazz community.

Pam's voice was exquisite and her delivery so smooth as to sound absolutely flawless. Pam knew no musical boundaries and continuously experimented with different feels, styles and languages. Most of all, Pam conveyed great warmth and panache on stage, always playing to her audience.
Those of us who have experienced her artistry could never forget Pam in a million years.

Posted by: Maija | March 5, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I heard Pam sing many times in the Amherst-Northampton MA area during the mid to late 70's. I was singing too at the time and on nights off we would go out to hear The Bricker Band whenever we could. I loved to hear Pam sing, and wished I had her talent. I didn't know her well, but every time I spoke with her I could feel her goodness and warmth.

I moved to NYC in 1979 and I must admit I didn't see Pam or hear her sing again. That is my loss. Then yesterday, out of the blue, she came into my mind. I kept thinking of her and just now I googled her and learned of her very recent death. It is a terrific loss... I haven't heard her sing in over 25 years but I can hear her voice and feel her wonderful presence both on and off stage. It is truly tragic to have lost someone like Pam.

Posted by: Debby | March 10, 2005 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Man, I am shocked. I used to work with Pam 4 nights a week at the Watergate in the early 90's. And she was on one of my first trips abroad( to Chile with fellow DC cats Tony Martucci, James King, Chris Bacchus, Rick Harris). I really liked her voice and she taught me a lot of standards. I also remember that we were both born in Summit New Jersey, coincidentally. I also bugged her to play her own tunes, like" It's not too soon," And some others that I haven't thought about in 10 years. She was always so positive and she graciously tolerated my inexperience as a piano accompanist. I didn't see her much since that time because I moved to New York. But it's such a loss to DC and to the rest of the world that never got to appreciate her. There are so many people who never get the proper attention they deserve as artists and she was definitely one of them. I'm listening to some mp3s off her website now and hearing her voice -I think she is one of the best out there , period. What a shame. What a loss, what a cool person. I remember always being excited to show up for the gig. We had a lot of laughs on the breaks, and I enjoyed the musical interaction also.
What a shame.......

Posted by: George Colligan | March 14, 2005 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I first saw Pam on a rainy Sunday night in April 2002 at U-topia. She stood on a stool towering above the bar audience and announced that she was just going to sing songs about, or with the word "rain" in the title or lyrics. I sat mesmerized my how easily she went from song to song, taking suggestions from the crowd who, like me, was amazed at how easy she made it look. I ended up staying till closing. After that night, I made Sunday night with Pam and Wayne at U-topia my routine to start off the new week. I have never known of a singer (or group, because Wayne was a big part of her too) that knew every Steely Dan tune, Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and any song you could think of. She was an original voice with a huge heart and love for music. After I got married, 6 months ago, I traded in my Sunday nights out for Desperate Housewives and the Sopranos with my wife. Last night my wife and I met U-topia and I found out that Pam had passed on. I was devastaed at her passing, angry and sad. She has been on my mind all day and her memory will live with me forever. I miss you Pam.

Posted by: Dwight Callaway | March 15, 2005 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Pam had a vibe that permeated every boundary. "The song has ended but the memory lingers on". Now I understand what you tried to say to me and how you suffered for your sanity and how you tried to set them free....But oh, they did listen and they loved you....still do!

Posted by: Sista Pat | March 18, 2005 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm covered in chills, as I too, suddenly began thinking of Pam on just this day. After many years, and 3,000 miles, fond memories of a time in the "Hamp" area returned. So I too, did a search and was shocked, overwhelmed with sadness. Memories return of her days in MA., doing her eclectic rock thing with the Bricker Band,it was dance heaven out in Hadley, plus, music with a message! Her presence influenced an area struggling to keep quality music alive during transitions in popular music. She was political, controversial,then. She was not yet matured into the jazz diva I am now hearing. Imagine the force this woman gave, in a town with 2 All Women's Ivy League colleges, (just going co-ed). Her gigs were always packed. What loss for us,bright star. Her quality of vocal presence, musicianship and dedication resonates on. A ruby in the sand. My deepest sympathy, to all who had the great fortune of knowing her well.

Posted by: Amherst fan | March 26, 2005 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I first heard and saw Pam Bricker in the early eighties at the "ONE STEP DOWN" on a sunday afternoon - remember - Reuben at the piano - no cover - just "new artists' doing their thing. She got up with her guitar and sang some lovely folk songs and I felt I had never heard such a magnificent voice. She would soon emerge as a great artist. I was lucky enough to be living with Bill Harris - brother of Rick - when 'MAD ROMANCE' was formed. I got to hear and see many of the rehearsals - that voice - that smile - who would know - depression has many masks. I recently saw her at Utopia and she was even better - smile even bigger - but I guess the masks were still there. I will never forget her.

Posted by: artis brienzo | April 1, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

After the shock we can only be speachless at the loss of such a dear soul. I met Pam back in high school in the 70's, she was already singing and writing songs. She was really different from the suburban crowd...she had something special and was going places. She played dulcimer and guitar and could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck with her exquisite renditions of folk classics. She teamed up with Pete Roller and I used to tag along when they performed in Washington Squre park hoping to be discoved.Years later I heard her sing on the lower East Side in New York belting out songs in front of a rock band... stupendous,full of energy. The last time I saw her was a few years ago in the Netherlands where I live. She sang with Thievery Corperation. Her voice had a mystical velvety glow. Her heart was in her music and that touched many hearts.It was a priviledge to have known her, see her grow and experience the warmth of her personality and the magic of her gift.

Posted by: Chris Dagradi | June 12, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked to learn that Pam is gone, and that she took her life. I first met Pam in Washington, DC, in the summer of '83. I think I last saw her almost ten years ago. She seemed to always be so vibrantly alive.

Posted by: John Link | June 29, 2005 3:13 AM | Report abuse

For whatever reason, I was unaware of Pam's death until last evening--when I walked into Utopia expecting to hear that fabulous/melodious voice. Needless to say, I was totally devasted. Pam Bricker made me come to Uptopia Sunday after Sunday. If I couldn't make it, I made certain friends made it there to experience what I had experienced time and time again. I will miss her musicianship, her professionalism, her dedication to her art that inspired me as a musician. I will not forget Pam Bricker.

Posted by: David Warr | August 22, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Ronaldinho | May 3, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

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