A solemn twist on the otherwise celebratory kickoff of St. Paul's Lowertown Sounds: Singer/songwriter Jessa Roquet, who performed under the stage moniker Gambler's Daughter, died of cancer at the age of 42 last week before her appearance in the series June 17.
"She'll very much be in our hearts and on my mind that night, and probably every night," said friend and fellow folkie Sarah Morris, who is also scheduled to perform that night. An unrelated replacement act, Fires of Denmark, has been added to the bill.
Morris remembered the first time she heard Roquet sing in an online songwriters workshop: "I was struck by her voice — which was a beautiful instrument in and of itself — but also by her writing skill, which was so obviously poetic and creative."
The Mora, Minn., native and Bethel University grad (full name Jessica) took her stage name from her parents, Garry and Renée Gamble, also musicians. She released her first album, "Serotinous Skin," in 2020 just a month before her diagnosis.
Musician and radio host Ellen Stanley paid tribute to Roquet on her KFAI show "Womenfolk" on Tuesday, saying, "She touched so many of us in this music community."