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Bluegrass musician Jeff Austin, co-founder of Yonder Mountain String Band, dies

Jun 26, 2019

Jeff Austin of the Yonder Mountain String Band performs at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Manchester, Tenn. (Photo: Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

Bluegrass musician Jeff Austin, who co-founded the Yonder Mountain String Band, died Monday, just two days after cancelling shows due to a “medical emergency.” 

Austin, who had been performing in the Jeff Austin Band after leaving Yonder Mountain in 2014, died in Seattle, according to an announcement on his verified Facebook page, which remembered him as a skilled mandolinist, singer and songwriter. 

“He was a dear friend whose music touched the lives of so many, and will be sorely missed,” the announcement read. 

Austin is survived by wife, Devlyn, and three children: Lily Rose, 12, Penelope, 5, and Jude Patrick, 2. 

The Yonder Mountain String Band began in 1999 and helped launch Austin into a “prominent figure in the neo-progressive bluegrass of the new millennium,” according to his official bio. The musician met banjo player Dave Johnson while in college at the University of Cincinnati, and the two later formed the band along with Ben Kaufmann and Adam Aijala. 

“We are saddened to report that we have lost our brother Jeff Austin,” the Yonder Mountain String Band wrote on its official Facebook page. “Remembering the incredible times and magical moments puts us at a profound loss for words. While we honor his memory, we will continue to pray for his family and for the journey they now face without him.”

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