CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

RIP Don Cohen

It is with a Heavy Heart and much sorrow that we announce the passing of Don Cohen founder of the Musicians Exchange Cafe, The Musicians Exchange Referral Service, The Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival, The South Florida Music Expo, and the brainchild behind the Ft. Lauderdale Cajun and Zydeco Festival. Don Cohen also consulted with hundreds of bars, corporate organizations, concert venues and private event planners to help create successful events. Don was also an accomplished drummer.

The Musicians Exchange was a Referral Service for musicians, and a complete complex of musical services for the public and musicians under the name of The Original Musicians Exchange Café, was founded on June 1, 1976 By Don Cohen. Outdoor concerts in the back parking lot of the 'original' Musicians Exchange Complex on Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale were some of the first outdoor shows in Ft Lauderdale to give original music bands a stage to play on. It also gave national touring recording artists a final stop on their tours in the SE United State. The Musicians Exchange Café was opened in November of 1981 until 1996, After 1996 5 different locations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties played host to over 1500 name musical acts.

From 1997-2000 Don Cohen was the musical entertainment buyer for both Toni Bishop's in Ft. Lauderdale, and Alligator Alley in Sunrise. He was also the national talent buyer for The Downtowner presents, and in recent years, The Garlic Festival, City Limits in Delray Beach, Frannipalooza, Millennium National Events, The Downtowner Saloon & Musicians Exchange Presents. Don Cohen was an icon in the south Florida music scene. It is a monumental loss for the Blues Community here is South Florida and beyond.

Don passed away Friday morning peacefully at the Broward General Hospice Center at age 55. He is survived by his father Milton, his brother Barry and Family, Cousins, Aunts as well as thousands of friends, fans, musicians, and the Legacy of The Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival.

For all his clients and associates it is Don's wish for Elliot Zimmerman to continue the Musician's Exchange Online community. Jamie Schwartz will lead DC Management. The Musician's Exchange Productions will be continued by Gerardo Lopez. Website Design and Build will be continued by Roosevelt Washingtom Jr. and The Riverwalk Blues Festival in the hands Jamie Schwartz, and Gerardo and Dar Lopez and is being planned for November 1st 2008 as per Don’s Wishes.

The Cohen Family will have a private service and a Public memorial and Celebration of Don’s Life its being planned at The Hollywood Playhouse Theater on Wednesday Oct 10 2007 . In Lieu of flowers please send donations to:

HOSPICE of Gold Coast Home Health Services
2101 W. Commercial Blvd.
Suite 4500
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

We thank Gold Coast Hospice for their compassionate care of Don’s last days.
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