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FOH Engineer Vinnie Kowalski, Dead at 58

FOH engineer Vincent Kowalski died July 17, 2020, closing a 40-plus year career that saw him tour with Blondie, fellow Long Islanders Dream Theater, Savatage, Kirk Franklin, Thin Lizzy, John Fogerty and Peter Frampton.

Vinnie Kowalski
Vinnie Kowalski A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home

Long Island, NY (August 17, 2020)—Respected FOH engineer Vincent Kowalski died July 17, 2020, of a heart attack. An audio pro for more than 40 years, Kowalski toured with acts like Blondie, fellow Long Islanders Dream Theater, Savatage, Kirk Franklin, Thin Lizzy, John Fogerty and most notably, a run of more than 20 years as Peter Frampton’s house engineer. He was 58.

Born on June 4, 1962 to his parents Ann and the late Vincent Sr. in Huntington Station, NY, Kowalski began mixing friends’ bands while a teenager, graduating Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington, NY in 1980. Learning the trade by mixing local acts around Long Island during the busy height of the region’s live music scene, Kowalski began working for regional audio provider RSA Audio in 1986, eventually hitting the road with numerous artists, as well as becoming a member of the production crew at Long Island’s Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

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Upon Kowalski’s passing, Peter Frampton posted a tribute on social media, stating, “Sadly, we have lost one of our treasured Frampton road family. Vinnie Kowalski was our much-loved front of house sound engineer for over 20 years. The world is a lot less funny now that Vinnie is no longer with us. He was one of the best sound engineers I’ve ever worked with and a big guy with a huge heart. My love and thoughts go out to his family and those who will not have the opportunity to know this dear friend and sweet man.”

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center honored Kowalski on its marquee after his passing, and noted online, “Whether it was mixing for a top-shelf, international artist or making our Arts Academy students sound like they were on a Broadway stage, Vinnie approached all of his work at WHBPAC with passion, commitment, and always, a smile. He was kind, professional, warm, FUNNY, and so talented – to the point that patrons could tell that it was his work making a show sound so wonderful on any given night.”

The family suggests donations be made in his memory to www.olliesangelsanimalresucue.org.

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