Facebook / Parker Jazz Club
Jazz trombonist Ron Wilkins, beloved both in his longtime hometown of San Antonio and across the country, is fighting for his life against COVID-19.
The 63-year-old musician and educator has been on a ventilator in critical condition at Northeast Baptist Hospital since Saturday, according to a News 4 San Antonio report
Although Wilkins relocated to New York earlier this decade, he spent years performing in the Alamo City and teaching at local institutions including the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of the Incarnate Word.
"If you bring up the name Ron Wilkins, everybody knows him, and everybody knows that he's one of the greatest trombone players on the planet," longtime friend Bill King, saxophonist and adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University, told News 4.
Wilkins returned to San Antonio in recent weeks to avoid going back to New York, a pandemic hotspot, according to the TV report. While here, he posted hour-long video lessons on Facebook that he dubbed Jazz Bass Bone Bootcamp
However, late last month, Wilkins stopped sharing lessons, posting he that he thought he was battling an allergy attack, including a "headache from hell."
This week, Austin's Parker Jazz Club shared a livestream performance by Wilkins
to celebrate his music. A post urged fans to donate money to help defray his medical expenses.
"I am doing this so that everyone can see what an amazing cat Ron is," the post said. "I've been watching all of the comments today and am so happy at the outpouring of love for this man. Like many others, I benefitted every moment I got to spend watching him perform, playing music with him, or just doin' the hang."
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