Remembering a drummer ‘who gave so much’

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This weekend, a concert will both honor the life of a local Rochester drummer and help support his family after his unexpected death.

Shae Ebner, 28, passed away in late August at a music and camping festival in Pennsylvania. While the circumstances of his death are still being investigated, Ebner’s friends decided they wanted to both celebrate a friend’s life and help his family.

Elijah Richards, a fellow drummer and onetime roommate of Ebner, remembered that his friend always wanted to throw a music festival based around the connections and interests he had in the Rochester scene.

“The unfortunate thing is he can’t be here for it now,” says Richards.

The benefit concert Sunday at Flour City Station will have performances from bands Ebner played with or was simply a fan of including Herbal Tonic, Vertices, Personal Blend, Anson Stiles, and Ed and El, with the $10 door proceeds all going directly to Ebner’s family.

The benefit is set to start at 1 p.m., with performers holding open jam sessions during the broadcast of the Buffalo Bills game. Richards says they had to start the event this way since Ebner was a huge Bills fan who watched the team’s games every week.

Friends refer to Ebner as a “catalyst” for his efforts in the local music scene, attending many events to support fellow musicians. Richards, who lived with Ebner during his college years, also remembers drumming together and trading off rhythms deep into the night.

“He was such a big presence, either when he was playing or just showing up (to concerts),” Richards recalls. “You only get as much as you give, and he was in a million bands, supporting so many people. He gave so much. He was selfless.

“He was the type of person who, if you showed up to the party, he made sure you had a plate of food, he made sure his people were good before him,” Richards continues. “Shae could walk into a room full of strangers and, at the end of two hours, be friends with every one of them.

“That’s why the gap is so obvious,” he concludes. “When they’re gone, you realize how much people like that gave.”

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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