Tribute paid to virtuoso violinist

Vasile Stanescu, known as Baz
Vasile Stanescu, known as Baz

Friends and admirers have raised hundreds of pounds towards funeral costs for a virtuoso violinist who died at his home in Crawley Down.

Vasile Stanescu, known as “Baz” was found dead on January 8 following a long battle with lymphatic cancer. He was 53.

Double-bass player Dan Sheppard, who worked with Mr Stanescu for 15 years, said: “Baz had an unrivalled energy, on stage and off. He was extremely talented, and really deserved a bigger stage, and many local musicians will miss him a great deal.”

Such was the respect in which Mr Stanescu was held, that a fundraiser was held at The Verdict – a jazz venue in Brighton - on January 22 which raised more than £600 towards the cost of his funeral.

On top of that, a gig will be held at Le Quecumbar in Battersea, on February 24, where the Marama Cafe Band will perform some of Baz’s music as a tribute. Mr Sheppard described how Mr Stanescu came to the UK from Romania in 1997 and was quickly spotted by Matthew Guez, leader of the jazz group Ultraswing.He spent 10 years with them and they became a regular fixture in Brighton.

His career took him home to Bucharest and then on to Corsica before he returned to Sussex to join the band Hai La Drum - ‘Hit the Road’.

The group focused on bringing Romanian, Balkan and Russian music to the people of Sussex - with some jazz thrown into the mix.

Accordion player Peter Watson, of Oxford, knew Mr Stanescu and played alongside him in Hai La Drum. He said: “He was a musician who made a unique contribution and was an inspiration to many musicians in the south east of England and he will be very much missed.”

Mr Stanescu leaves a son, two daughters and his ex-wife. A funeral service will be held at St Wilfrid’s Church in Haywards Heath at 1.15pm on Thursday (January 31). For details about the Battersea gig, log on to