- Fionn Reilly
- Tony Falco at the Falcon, January 2020.
Two days before Halloween came the devastating news of the passing of Tony Falco, the owner and founding force behind Marlboro music venue the Falcon, from complications related to COVID-19.
To say that Tony was a beloved figure within the Hudson Valley music and arts community is, quite frankly, insufficient. Tony’s guiding vision for his club—which, since 2001, across two physical incarnations, has regularly presented top names in jazz, rock, blues, folk, ethnic, and other musical genres—and his endlessly warm, artist-supporting, make-everyone-feel-special demeanor was beyond rare in the often cutthroat, herd-‘em-in/herd-‘em-out nightclub business.
As I observed in my January 2020 profile of the Staten Island-raised patron saint of local music, the Falcon—a venue that has always relied on the donations of its individual audience members to pay the performers—has worked is because the whole operation is an extension of Tony himself. That’s what has kept artists like Brad Mehldau, David Johansen, Paul Schaefer, John Medeski, Joe Lovano, Don Byron, Dave Liebman, and so many others, along with the audiences who truly appreciate them, coming back and again. And although Tony has departed the physical plane, his spirit and practice of treating both audiences and artists like family—and giving the latter the respect they so often don’t receive—lives on in the hearts of everyone touched by their times at the Falcon.
As of this writing the bookings in place at the time of Tony’s passing remain on the calendar and it appears that the venue will continue carrying its founder’s vision forward, into the future. Without knowing the particulars of the situation behind the scenes, we certainly hope that’s the case. It seems reasonable to believe that’s what the man himself would have wanted.
Tony leaves behind a wife, four children, multiple employees, and many, many friends. All of us at Chronogram send to them our love, support, and deepest sympathies.