Local musicians and club staffers are mourning the loss of Jason Aukes, manager and booker at the Cabooze and other venues in the After Midnight Group family. Only 36, he was found dead on Thursday at his home in Minneapolis. The cause of death has not been made public.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church (8211 Red Oak Dr., St. Paul), with visitation at 1 p.m.
“Jason had one of the bigger, more vibrant personalities of the Twin Cities music scene, and nobody in town is going to give you a squarer deal than he did,” said Kevin Kniebel, singer/banjoist in Pert Near Sandstone, who credited Aukes for being one of his band’s key supporters. “His impact on us and the entire West Bank music scene was huge.”
Nate Kranz, general manager at First Avenue, was a friend and sometimes competitor of Aukes who worked with him on many of the Cabooze Plaza outdoor gigs in recent years. He said Aukes “did everything from booking the shows to production stuff to coordinating security. The Cabooze is really going to miss him, and not just because he was such a great guy.”
A statement from the After Midnight Group reads, “With his infectious humor and contagious smile he had an overwhelming ability to make everyone feel welcome, including bands, staff, and customers. His presence as a manager, a talent buyer, a friend and overall great person will be missed by many.”
Click here for the family's obituary on Jason, who grew up in Spring Lake Park.