Trey Anastasio Band saxophonist James Casey revealed he was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Casey will undergo chemotherapy treatment starting today and will miss TAB’s upcoming tour. Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum will fill James’ role in the group while Casey recovers.
The good news is that Casey’s doctors feel his prognosis is “great” and the chemotherapy therapy comes “as a preventative measure.” While James is a private person, he shared his story with the aim of getting others, especially Black men to get tested. “We are 40% more likely to get this particular type of cancer…so much so that being African American is considered a warning sign for it,” the saxophonist wrote in a message on his social feeds. “If you’re 35+ please consider getting checked, and make sure to pay attention to your digestive health.”
The Brooklyn-based Cheme is a multi-instrumentalist known for both his flute and saxophone skills. Gastelum is a member of The Dap-Kings and also has toured with Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Antibalas and Budos Band. Other credits include work with Amy Winehouse, David Byrne, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Beck, The Roots and countless others.
On Friday, the Trey Anastasio Band kicks off their fall tour at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine. The run will be the first for new bassist Dezron Douglas, who joined the group following the death of co-founding member Tony Markellis. Additional tour stops for TAB include shows in Boston, New Haven, Philadelphia, Charlottesville, Wilmington (North Carolina), Charlotte, Asheville, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and New York City.
Read the full note from James Casey detailing his medical situation below: