Joshua Ryan Wolff, a New York City based jazz pianist/singer, passed away on May 19, 2013 – he was 39 years old (born September 28, 1973). He died of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which had been diagnosed only two weeks previously.
Wolff grew up (and had a wonderful life), in Lake Stevens. He had a great education, beginning at Mt. Pilchuck Elementary, continued at Lake Stevens Middle School, and finally graduating from Lake Stevens High School.
At the high school he was given numerous awards for outstanding achievement in drama (where he had the lead in several musicals), in band, in choir, and much more.
He enjoyed taking part in track and wrestling. In football, he was first team all-conference and also received a conference award as the outstanding scholar/athlete for linemen.
Upon graduation his grade point average was among the highest in his class, and he was honored to speak at the graduation ceremony. He also got a bachelor of music degree from the University of Washington (while playing many gigs in the Seattle area).
Wolff began his musical life playing guitar, and then saxophone (for which he received numerous solo awards in middle school and in high school). He didn’t even start learning the piano until he was about 13 years old.
His younger brother David had already been excelling in piano and had already been the soloist for a piano concerto with the Everett Symphony.
That didn’t intimidate or deter him at all – indeed, he took it as a challenge and he decided to take up the piano too. Josh too, soon excelled, but after being taught classical pieces, his focus turned to jazz.
Wolff’s immediate family members are his parents Ron and Christie Wolff, and his three brothers, Tom, David, and Daniel Wolff.
His Memorial Service was held at Poncho Concert Hall at Cornish College of the Arts on June 2.