SCL grieves David L. Abell


Monday, February 13, 2006

DAVID L. ABELL passed away on Saturday, February 11, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a heroic struggle against lung failure, according to Barbara Abell, his wife of 48 years, and daughters Jami Abell Patterson and Laurie Abell.

A service celebrating David’s life will take place at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles on Tuesday, February 14th at 10:00 a.m.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The CARES Foundation, 189 Main Street, Milburn, NJ 07041,, or the UCLA Foundation David L. Abell Endowment, Friends of Jazz at UCLA, 1237 Murphy Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1419.

David Abell owned one of the first Yamaha dealerships in America—the legendary David L. Abell’s Fine Pianos on Beverly Boulevard in L.A.—from 1954 to 1999. Described as the music vendor to the stars and an angel to the community by L.A. Times music critic Don Heckman, David donated pianos hundreds of times for use at charitable events. He also was piano vendor of first choice to numerous music and entertainment legends, including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Andre Previn, Quincy Jones, George Shearing, Tony Bennett, Benny Carter, the Eagles, John Williams, and Steven Spielberg, including many more SCL Members.

David served as President and then Chairman Emeritus of the Los Angeles Jazz Society. He was the first non-musician selected to receive the Jazz Society’s Tribute Honoree Award. In celebration of his 75th birthday in 2005 the Friends of Jazz at UCLA honored David with its Humanitarian Award, and the NAACP presented him with its Community Service Award. He led the creation of the Bill Green Mentor Scholarship Program, and established the David L. Abell Jazz Education Fund. In his memory David’s family has established the David L. Abell Scholarship fund to benefit deserving students enrolled in the UCLA Jazz Studies Program.

From SCL/RMA Member Dennis Dreith: David was a Philanthropist’s Philanthropist, and one of the most generous and giving people I have ever known. There was never a time when SCL, the Recording Musicians Association, the Musicians Union, or a school or children’s charity needed a donation, or a piano that David couldn’t be counted on to deliver way more than anyone asked for. David was one of the driving forces behind the Jazz Society, one of the founding members of the UCLA Friends of Jazz program, was the driving force in support of the Washington Hi Prep school music program, and a significant sponsor and donor for virtually every LA music education program in existence.