Chester J. Krolewicz 89, was a musician, jazz guitarist, and music teacher. He died on November 27, 2013 at Brockton Hospital.
Born in Cambridge, MA, he was known as "Chet Kruley.” His vast knowledge of guitar, in general, and jazz guitar, in particular, set him apart as a noted expert, and musician.
He began his musical career playing guitar with Fletcher Henderson’s Swing Band in the early 1940’s, at the age of 19. He was the first white guitarist to join an all-black band, breaking the reverse color line.
A close personal friend of Elmer Stromberg, famous arch-top guitar builder in Boston, Chet was an endorser of Stromberg guitars and played them exclusively throughout his career. He is listed under Stromberg Guitars in Wikipedia among noted users, including: Freddie Green, Doug Ranger Green, Barry Galbraith, Fred Guy, and John Payne,Tony Rizzi.
Chet was an accomplished guitarist. At the height of his career, he played for famous jazz singers and celebrities like Anita O’Day, Morgana King, Robert Goulet, Frank Sinatra, Sid Ceaser, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Rich Little, Perry Como, Jimmie Lunceford, Jackie Gleason and Nat Pierce. Chet supported US Military troops, by providing entertainment with the USO Camp Shows around the world .He spent several years as Diana Ross’s lead guitarist, and performed with the Supremes, and actor Lou Gossett Junior. He recorded with violin virtuoso, Fred Elias, on a Middle Eastern Recording and traveled nationwide with Broadway performances such as Camelot, Bye Bye Birdie, Pippin, The Zulu and the Zada, and many others.
He taught at Berklee College of Music, and later, began private lessons, at Central Music in Brockton and Rick’s Music World. Among his many students were Hungarian guitarist Gabor Szabo, Patty Larkin, jazz guitarist, Bob Sneider, and guitarist, teacher Daniel Byrnes. In recent years he continued teaching students, as well as repairing and building guitars. He loved to teach, and enjoyed watching his students grow. It gave him personal satisfaction.
All who had the privilege of his teaching, his friendship, and love, will miss him dearly. He was a gentleman, and testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
Son of the late Sygmond and Mary (Nieminski) Krulewicz. Brother of the late Jane T. Brazaitis and Helene H. Bowers. Chester is survived by several nieces and nephews, Edmund Brazaitis of Stoughton, Richard D. Bowers and his wife Donna M. of Plympton, Barbara Moore and her husband Robert of Phoenix, AZ. and a great niece Marisa T. Bowers of Pasadena, CA.
Visiting hours will be held at the MacDonald Funeral Home 1755 Ocean St (rte 139) Marshfield on Friday Dec 6, from 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Funeral Service from the funeral home on Saturday Dec 7, at 10:00 am
Interment will be in the Couch Cemetery Union St, Marshfield.
Contributions in Chester’s memory may be made to the Fletcher Henderson Museum, P.O Box 399 Atlanta, Ga. 30301.
For online guestbook and directions please visit our website macdonaldfuneralhome.com