Drummer Michael di Pasqua died in Florida on 29 August of cancer at the age of 63.

Early in his career while still in his teens di Pasqua worked with Zoot Sims and Al Cohn and with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. Later he was primarily known for his work on the ECM label from the late-1970s on, appearing in the group Double Image with Dave Samuels and David Friedman and on such albums with Jan Garbarek as Wayfarer and It’s OK To Listen to the Gray Voice as well as with bassist Eberhard Weber on some of his records, including notably Later That Evening, and also with guitarist Ralph Towner. Di Pasqua beyond music also developed a successful career as a businessman developing a chain of Subway sandwich shop franchises in his native Florida.

Film maker Julian Benedikt paid tribute to di Pasqua on social media saying: “We all met Mike through the making of the documentary on Eberhard Weber. I couldn’t tell you why, but I loved this guy from the first minute I talked to him. Also, when we shot the interview, there was something so gentle and yet so deep in his voice, which I will never forget.” Di Pasqua is survived by his wife, Martina, and two children, Anna and Michael Joseph.

Michael di Pasqua, above. Photo: Andrea Schimak