Tuesday, November 20, 2018
[Image by James Lanning via Facebook]
Jimi Zhivago, a musician, producer and composer who lived in the East Village since the early 1980s, died on Nov. 8 after a short illness*. He was 67.
Born James Daley on Aug. 1, 1951, in Brooklyn, Zhivago "had been a musical legend and force around NYC and beyond," his friend and collaborator Chris Riffle said.
Zhivago moved to Chelsea in the mid-1970s and later to the East Village where he lived on Fifth Street since 1982. He was a regular on many scenes, including at Max’s Kansas City where he performed with Klaus Nomi and Wayne County, then later at Sin-é on St. Mark's Place.
He had many varied credits to his name. He played with Rufus and Martha Wainwright, and Glen Hansard, among many others. He had a major label solo record released in the late 1970s and was a founding member of Ollabelle. Zhivago played electric sitar on the Neptunes' remix of "Sympathy for the Devil" in 2015 and produced the SiriusXM show "Live at the Living Room" for 10 years, broadcasting performers like Norah Jones, Jason Isbell and Madeleine Peyroux.
"He was an integral part of so many careers," said Riffle, a singer-songwriter who recently toured with Zhivago. "From producing albums to playing live, Jimi was a huge part of the East Village and will be sorely missed by many."
There will be a musical remembrance and celebration of his life on Dec. 3 at Drom, 85 Avenue A, from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Zhivago died from liver failure from a reaction to a drug taken for prostate cancer.