Celebrating the Life of John Leimseider

September 26, 2018

On September 14, 2018, the NMC team was absolutely devastated to hear of the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague John Leimseider (JL).

JL was one of the world’s most sought-after electronic instrument and equipment technicians, and we were lucky to have him as NMC’s Electronics Technician since 2002. During his 40-year career, JL serviced instruments for many of the most celebrated musicians of our time.

JL was an incredibly kind and talented person. He was a mentor to countless technicians, engineers and musicians. He was also a gifted veteran musician who still performed regularly in and around Calgary.

Memorial and Celebration of Life

A memorial and celebration of life will be held at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre this Sunday, September 30 at 5:00 pm in Studio Bell’s Performance Hall (850 4 Street SE). 

5:00 pm: Reception in Canada Music Square
6:00 pm: Formal tribute program in Performance Hall
6:30 pm: Open mic for personal tributes
7:30 pm: Performance by Beatles tribute band All You Need is Love and post-reception

The service is open to the public and no RSVP is required.

We hope you are able to join us in celebrating the life of our dear friend and colleague, JL.

JL was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1952, went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He had a deep love of music and instruments, particularly analog synths, and was renowned for his incredible skills as a synthesizer technician. He played keyboards professionally in Iron Butterfly and various other bands, led the restoration of TONTO and the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio, and was an influential member of the National Music Centre.

He will be remembered throughout the music community for his deep wealth of expertise, willingness to help others and share his knowledge.

JL will be forever remembered by his loving wife of 29 years, Laura; his son, Noah; daughter and son-in-law Zoë and Mike; his brother, Eric; his extended family; and his parrot, Big Birdie. John’s family will cherish memories of him as a funny, kind, generous, and loving husband and father.

Thank You for Your Support

NMC mourns alongside the music community in Calgary and with many that knew and loved JL from around the world.

“I met JL in Los Angeles in 2002. When we lured him to Canada, I had make the case to Immigration Canada why no one in the country could do this work, that he was unique. He helped us realize an important vision: to take musical instruments and equipment and not just put them behind glass for enjoyment but to make them living, so musicians and fans can still use them to create…It’s a rare skill, and he had a wonderful, affable and kind personality that made him many friends around the world and in this community.” –Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre. Listen to Andrew’s full interview with the CBC Calgary Eyeopener here (15:15).

“It’s impossible to put to words John’s contributions to musical instrument preservation in Canada. He was an incredible talent and even nicer person. He will be greatly missed.” –Tom Everett, Curator of Communications Technology at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. See Tom’s post here.

“In 2002, Cantos (pre-NMC), presented a concert featuring 4 Novachords and a Hammond organ. I was one of the players. JL was the technician. That’s when I first met this wizard. Over the years, whenever our paths crossed, (including this past July when Calgary Organ Festival delegates visited NMC), he greeted me with a big smile and a hug. He was full of joy, and loved every minute of his work. The music community is going to miss him dearly. Heartfelt condolences to his wife and children, and his co-workers at NMC.” –Chellen Hoffman, Music Director at Knox United Church. See Chellen’s post here.


If you have condolences or a memory of JL to share, please do so here or on our Facebook page and using the hashtag #RIPJL.

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