Ex-Wilco Member Jay Bennett Dies

May 26, 2009

According to a statement from his management company, Jay Bennett, multi-instrumentalist and producer, passed away in his sleep Saturday night.

Bennett was perhaps best known for his time with Wilco, with whom he played from 1994 through 2001. He also played in the ’90s act Titanic Love Affair and had an very long list of musical credits. Last year, he put out the solo album Whatever Happened I Apologize.

The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with Bennett's friend and collaborator, Edward Burch, who simply stated: "Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed. The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time."

Wilco is currently touring in Spain and Jeff Tweedy expressed his condolences in a statement released today:

We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him -- as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time.

Jay Bennett was 45 years old.

Source: Ken Weingart/Getty Images