Goodbye to James Chance, frontman of the Contortions

Goodbye to James Chance, frontman of the Contortions

The saxophonist James Chancecentral figure of no-wave and frontman of Contortions, died at the age of 71. The news was published today on the official Facebook page of the same musician born in Milwaukee in 1953. According to reports, Chance, whose real name was James Alan Siegfried, died at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in New York. The cause of his death was not revealed, but his brother, David, reported that “the musician's health had been deteriorating for several years”.

The lengthy Facebook message also includes a detailed bio about Chance's life and career.

James had been in poor health for some time now, leading friends and family to have launched a fundraising campaign back in 2020 to help the musician overcome “personal health issues and the COVID situation.”

According to Brooklyn Vegan, a second fundraiser was launched in November last year after the musician was hospitalized. On the GoFundMe page, his brother David wrote: “he IS very fragile. He dropped to 95 pounds (less than 45 kg, ed.). He needs physical therapy to regain his strength, but I don't know how to navigate the healthcare system to get approval for therapy.”

James Chance
he was known for his personal approach to music, in which he fused punk rock, jazz and funk. After playing in a band called
in his native Milwaukee, Chance moved to New York and in 1976 joined the
Flaming Youth
then formed i
Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
Lydia Lunch
. In 1977 you founded i
which appeared in 1978 on the compilation
“No New York”
collection edited by
Brian Eno

considered the manifesto of the New York No Wave movement.

The friction between
James Chance
and the other members of the band, partly due to the aggressive and confrontational attitude of Chance himself, led to the dissolution of
in the fall of 1979. The band reunited in concert for a short time in 2001.