The throat cancer that caused him to close the club cost him his life. / Updated with family statement. / Painting by Diane Russell
Jimmy Makarounis...Jimmy Mak, owner of Portland's premier music venue which bore his name passed away of throat cancer in the past 24 hours.
On the club's Facebook page was this statement:
"Our beloved friend and mentor, Jimmy Makarounis, passed away early this morning after a prolonged battle with cancer. He will be remembered by those who loved and knew him for his kindness, tenacity and unending generosity. We will carry on with his spirit in our hearts. Details will be forthcoming regarding services and arrangements. On behalf of the Makarounis family we thank you all for your love and support in this difficult time."
He was quoted in his statement on announcing the closure of the club, which had it's last performance on Saturday, December 31, just hours before his death.
“ 'It is with a heavy heart I make this announcement,” Makarounis said. “Jimmy Mak’s has been a family home to world-class musicians of many different genres, particularly the city’s best jazz players. The club also presents many of the world’s top jazz and blues players and has become a significant West Coast stop on many of these artists’ tours.”
Makarounis is currently undergoing immunotherapy treatments for cancer of the larynx, which has intensified in the past five weeks. His doctors insist that he step away from Jimmy Mak’s business to focus solely on healing.'
Here is Diane Russell's photo gallery on the final week of shows.
Here is OMN's "Day in the Nightlife: Jimmy Mak's" from 2010.