Rocker holding benefit concert for family of late Cranbrook guitarist

Bif Naked and Friends For JD, January 15 in Calgary

  • Jan. 7, 2015 2:00 p.m.
Jacen “J.D.” Ekstrom  of Cranbrook

Jacen “J.D.” Ekstrom of Cranbrook

Barry Coulter and Ferdy Belland

A Canadian rocker and motivational speaker is holding a fundraising concert next week for the family of a Cranbrook guitarist.

On October 28 of 2014,Jacen “J.D.” Ekstrom — guitarist for Bif Naked and formerly with the alternative rock band Neurosonic — while in Calgary was rushed to the Foothills Hospital due to an aortic dissection — a condition where the main artery (and largest) in the human body tears.

Ekstrom underwent 12 hours of surgery with a 10 per cent chance of survival. He passed away on the afternoon of November 7. He was 42.

Ekstrom was held in the highest regard among Cranbrook musicians, and by Bif Naked (Beth Torbert), whose band Ekstrom joined after he met her in 2009.

Recently, Bif told the metal rock website BraveWords that she will be playing a special tribute show to Ekstrom on Thursday, January 15,at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, Alberta. She will perform an acoustic set and share an evening to honour Ekstrom, hoping to raise funds for his wife and children.

The concert “Bif and Friends for JD” will take place Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary. Tickets are $30 plus service charges, and all proceeds go to the “Love For JD” fund. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Back in November, 2014, Bif Naked recalled for the Townsman her experiences with Ekstrom.

“JD joined the band when I was still finishing my final rounds of cancer treatment,” Bif said. “I was still a sick girl, but I didn’t know that. JD did know, and right from the start he was very kind and protective and helping. Once I realized what an astounding musician he really was, he just continually blew me away.

“He became my security blanket. I never had to worry onstage when JD was riffing away or shredding out a screaming solo. He became my mentor, and he basically was the bandleader! He always wrote the set lists for every show, he always transcribed the music for our bandmates. His professional demeanour never faltered, ever. Always such a pro. I’m trying to envision what it’ll be like to play music with him gone.

“But it was more than mere musical connection. JD was a good friend to me. One of the last wonderful memories of him was when he and his wife Jenn and their daughter shared dinner with me at my apartment in Vancouver. Such a good visit. Laughter and joy. I feel lucky to have known him for as long as I did.”

Just Posted

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city's downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation to host flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Corey Bullock file)
City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation hosting flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day

A temporary road closure and speed limit reduction will be in effect during the ceremony

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

An example of the timber blowdown that let to the logging at Mountain Station. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Most Read