Renowed trumpeter, composer and educator Jim Rotondi passed away suddenly on July 7 at the age of 61 in his adopted home of Craz, Austria.

His wife, Julie Vanparys, made the announcement on Monday via Rotondi’s official Facebook page, stating:

“Dear all, this is with immense sadness that I have to tell you all that Jim passed away last night. He was the love of my life and his music the love of many of you. Please send light his way, his wife Julie.”

Born James Robert Rotondi in 1962 in Butte, Montana, USA, Rotondi started playing the piano at age 8 and switched over to the trumpet at age 12. He graduated from the University of North Texas’ music program and relocated to New York City in the late eighties.

Rotondi had been a major figure in the jazz world for the last 30 years, touring with artists such as Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Eric Alexander and more. He was the leader of his own quintet, Full House, as well as one of the original members of Eric Alexander’s One For All Jazz Sextet.

Over the course of his career, Rotondi released 18 studio albums and appeared on over 85 albums as a studio musician. His final album, Finesse, was released in February of this year. In recent years, Rotondi relocated from New York City to Craz, Austria where he accepted a teaching position as Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.