Published Dec 30, 2013Following a cancer diagnosis earlier this year, School of Seven Bells member Benjamin Curtis had spent much of 2013 battling the disease. Sadly, according to online news reports, Curtis passed away last night (December 29) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was 35.
Curtis was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in February of this year following weeks of illness. At the time, a message from his School of Seven Bells bandmate Alejandra Deheza indicated that it was treatable.
He underwent chemotherapy, and initial reports suggested that he was responding well. A fundraiser was staged to help pay for his medical bills, with the likes of Paul Banks, Albert Hammond Jr. and Devendra Banhart all lending a helping hand.
Curtis was born in Oklahoma and later moved to Dallas, getting his start in the city's music scene and playing in bands like UFOFU, Tripping Daisy and Secret Machines. He eventually moved to New York and started School of Seven Bells in 2007.
The dream pop duo released three full-lengths, most recently 2012's Ghostory. This was followed by their Put Your Sad Down EP later in the year.
Update: School of Seven Bells have released a statement on Facebook:
Last night, Dec. 29th 2013, we lost our friend and brother Benjamin Curtis to his fight against cancer.
While we had hoped to delay this announcement until a more suitable time when his friends and family could feel better prepared and settled to greet any correspondences from folks attempting to reach out, unfortunately the news has prematurely leaked. So we felt it would be appropriate to at least offer an official acknowledgement from us, in light of all the fans who loved and supported Benjamin and his music.
We kindly ask that his immediate family, friends & bandmates' privacy be respected during this time, and that instead, any inquires, well wishes, or notes-of-consolation be sent through School of Seven Bells' management, where it can be shared with them at the suitable time. They can be sent to a special e-mail address here: [email protected]
If relevant, further information will be made available through the suitable channels in the near future.
We can't thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough. All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures. We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.