Wednesday at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ was a night to remember and memorialize the ever-talented, ever-unique and ever-charismatic Andrew James Chaves of Arizona indie-meets-hip hop-meets-reggae supergroup Katastro. Chaves, Katastro’s founding member and frontman, passed away in a tragic car accident on May 12th, 2022 in Newport Beach, CA, stunning the community and forever changing the lives of everyone who loved and listened to the magnetic, preternatural vocalist.
Katastro’s home venue, the Marquee Theater, commissioned a painting to memorialize Chaves and unveiled the large-scale portrait Wednesday evening.
Flanked by family and friends (including his parents, sister and Katastro bandmates Andrew Stravers, Ryan Weddle and Tanner Riccio), the permanent memorial was hidden behind a black sheet until its official unveiling at 7:30pm, emceed by manager and close friend Gonzo. The painting, gracing the peak of the foyer’s left wall between Jack White and Snoop Dogg, marks an homage to Chaves and stands as a promise to never forget the energy Andy brought into every room in which he stepped.
“At the end of the day, Andy always wanted to have a good time… so, raise your drinks. AJC forever,” Gonzo said through a megaphone as the sheet was torn down and family, friends and fans alike got the first glimpse of the pop art-inspired memorial.
Measuring roughly 4 feet by 3 feet, the painting by Austin, TX artist William K. Stidham recreates a portrait shot by Los Angeles-based photographer Lupe Bustos, with broad angel wings added by the painter as a respectful nod to Chaves’ love-filled legacy and symbol of a young life cut too short.
The unveiling follows Chaves’ memorial at the Marquee Theater on May 15th and funeral on June 11th. Want to support the band, but not sure how? Stream Katastro on all digital listening platforms, buy freshly restocked Katastro merch on their website and leave supportive comments on their social media profiles. #AJCFOREVER