The music business has lost a real one.
Former Saturday Night Live musical director and producer Katreese Barnes passed away on August 3 at the age of 56 following a decades-long fight with breast cancer, according to a report from the NY Times.
Before joining SNL as a pianist in 2001, she had a band with her brother Jerry called Juicy, and they were signed to Arista Records in the 1980s. The group released three albums, including It Takes Two and quickly became well-known on New York’s music scene. The group’s popularity increased following their work with Roberta Flack as co-producers on her Grammy-nominated, self-titled album released in 1994.
After working her way to music director for the show, Barnes remained at SNL until 2009. SNL writers John Mulaney and Seth Meyers took to social media to pay tribute to their former co-worker following news of her death. “Katreese was great,” Meyers tweeted.
“Sketch writers, many with no rhythm and terrible voices, would come to her with song ideas and she would turn them into gold.”
“Katreese Barnes would sit with me and many other writers on Wednesday mornings sometimes an hour before SNL read through,” Mulaney said a message shared on his Instagram page. “She would write beautiful and hilarious songs out of my tone deaf warbling of lyrics.”
He concluded, “Thank you for every Wednesday morning.”