Memorial services planned for Matt LaPorte this Saturday.
LARGO: There will be a Memorial service for Matt LaPorte this Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at 3:00pm at the Moss Feaster Funeral Home, located at 13401 Indian Rocks Road in Largo.
As originally reported here in an April 21st article, Matthew Davis LaPorte, guitarist for such bands as Jon Oliva’s Pain & Circle II Circle, passed away while at his home in Seminole on April 20th. Matt was 40 years old at the time of his death. No official cause of death has been released at present time.
Matt is survived by his mother Sharon (Richard) Paul of Largo, his brother Lawrence R. (Colleen) LaPorte of Manhattan Beach, California, his sister Laura LaPorte of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and 5 nieces and nephews. Matt was preceded in death by his father Kenneth D. LaPorte.
In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing the Matthew LaPorte Music Scholarship Fund. More information will be released on this as it is made available.
Matt was without a doubt an extremely talented guitarist and musician…But to those who knew him personally, Matt was more then just another talented musician…he was a true friend and loved one!
I had the privilege of meeting Matt for the very first time back in 1999 when he was a member of the Tampa Bay cover band, KingPin. From the very first time I heard Matt play, I was blown away by his talent & ability. But even more impressive and appealing to me then Matt’s guitar playing…was his personality, his character, and his unique sense of humor. Of course I was immediately drawn to Matt’s sense of humor, possibly because I have a similarly dry, sardonic sense of humor myself. But it was Matt’s personality that was surprising to me. I think the term “Gentle Giant” could have easily been coined just for Matt himself. Just like the JOP statement says, Matt was kind of a shy, soft spoken person who avoided confrontation whenever possible. I personally found this attribute of Matt’s to be a breath of fresh air in an industry that is full of musicians with a very contrary attitude and personality.
Nearly everyone who has ever worked in the Tampa Bay music scene within the past 20 years knew Matt to some degree or another. Outside of being the current guitarist for Jon Oliva’s Pain at the time of his death, Matt has played with more musicians, and in more bands then I can possibly count. The reason for this is simple…Matt was truly a talented guitarist, and the epitome of what a true musician is.
During his music career, Matt has played with bands such as: Jon Oliva’s Pain (featuring Jon Oliva of Savatge), Big Brother, KingPin, Stormbringer, Drama (w/ John Zahner), Suckerpunch, The Enablers, The last Things, Big Deal!, Iron Horse (Featuring Ron Keel), Circle II Circle, and several others as well.
Matt has performed on all of the Jon Oliva’s Pain albums from 2004’s “‘Tage Mahal”, to last years “Festival”. Aside from JOP, During his career, Matt has appeared on many albums with several other bands. Matt’s discography includes:
- 1998 “Change Of Venue“ (solo album).
- 2003 “Watching In Silence” (Circle II Circle).
- 2004 “‘Tage Mahal” (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
- 2005 “The Middle Of Nowhere“ (Circle II Circle).
- 2006 “Once More… With Feeling“ (solo album).
- 2006 “Straight Jacket Memoirs” EP (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
- 2006 “Maniacal Renderings” (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
- 2007 “Spiritual Apocalypse” (Monstrosity).
- 2008 “Global Warning” (Jon Oliva’s Pain).
- 2008 “Matt Laporte” (solo album).
- 2010 “Festival” (Jon Oliva’s Pain) cd/dvd.
Matt Laporte and Jon Oliva were scheduled to make an appearance for an intimate performance & songwriting clinic on May 8th at Seminole Music & Sound, where Matt had worked as a guitar instructor…teaching others the art of his craft.
Remembering Matthew Davis LaPorte:
Matt will surely be missed by the countless number of people who’s lives he has touched. On the official Jon Oliva’s Pain facebook page, Fellow friends, fans, students, & musicians leave their heartfelt messages for Matt…
“I will always remember with great appreciation the privilege I had sharing the stage with Matt LaPorte…..” – Tommy Roxx of Big Deal!.
“I will cherish the 20+ years of friendship and memories we had…..Our hearts are broken!” – Rebecca Field of Midnight Rush.
“Not many remember when Matt was playing with Krunch. He never did any shows with us but was part of finishing up several recordings that we were lacking a second lead part. At that time he was in the band “Drama”. His guitar wizardry enabled him to lay down some incredible lead parts for our music. RIP Matt!!! You will be missed! This is as big a shocker as when Chris Oliva died. Sad day!” – Pete Gratta of Black Jack Bomber.
“Criss [Oliva] and Matt are pluging in and tuning up right now…” – Fan.
“You will be so missed Matt. I love you! Rock on in heaven sweetie. Wish I could have had one more bear hug.” – Friend.
The following is the original press release regarding Matt LaPorte’s passing that was publishid on the official Jon Oliva’s Pain website:
“It is with great heartache and sorrow that we relay the passing of our dear friend, band-mate, guitarist and brother Matthew LaPorte. Matt passed away in his home shortly after 6 pm on Wednesday. No information regarding his cause of death is currently available.
Matt was a brilliant guitar player on all levels. He understood that instrument better than almost anyone. His knowledge of music in general was just amazing. His contributions to JOP and every band he ever played with was also without measure. He was truly a one-guitar army when he needed to be and his solo performances on all the JOP cd’s will forever send chills down our spines. A near 20- year history and friendship with one of the true greats has now ended and we are deeply saddened.
Matt was a fan of all kinds of music and instruments, having even embarked on a mission to conquer the hammered dulcimer…one of the hardest instruments to play. He was always trying
to expand his musical horizons and influences. He marveled at the musical greats, both old and new. He was never one to rate his talents above others and often commented about the great new music and artists he had just discovered.
Criss Oliva was without a doubt his most profound influence, and anyone who saw him play
Savatage songs knew that Criss was channeling his talents via Matt. Matt’s attention to detail and
always striving to play everything perfect is without comparison. We would sit for hours during rehearsals with him muddling over whether a guitar chord was played exactly as recorded.
Sometimes frustrating, but always appreciated in the end. He was the professionals’
professional when it came to his guitar skills, and the loss of such a talent will be forever felt.
Matt was a gentle soul, and would avoid conflict at all costs. He got along with everyone and greeted all with a smile on his face. There was a shyness and almost embarrassment felt by him from the adoration of his fans around the world…and he had many. He was humbled by the love and respect music fans gave to him, but in a quiet way, that made him work just a little bit harder. His had a hilarious, twisted and often sarcastic sense of humor that was unique to him. A very funny man indeed.
We miss you terribly Matt, and we will celebrate your music and life each and every day. That great band in the sky just got a whole lot better, and you are in the most peaceful place you could have ever hoped for. Until we meet again…”
Matt now joins an unfortunate list of talented Tampa Bay musicians who have been taken away from us way too early in their lives. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to Matt’s loved ones during this tragic, unfortunate, and trying time…RIP Matt, you will truly be missed!
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