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Arts & Life

Beloved Greeley Musician’s Murder Leaves Friends With Memories, Questions

Courtesy of Kyle Borthick
Beloved blues musician Scott Sessions was known as an avid music supporter throughout Colorado.

Updated 2/17/2019 at 11:30 a.m.

Investigators with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office arrested Kevin Dean Eastman, of Greeley, on Feb. 16 in connection with the homicide of Scott Sessions.

Eastman was booked on allegations of first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body, along with an outstanding warrant from the Denver Police Department. No additional details are being released at this time.

The original story continues below.

Those who knew Scott Sessions say the beloved Greeley trumpet player was known for two things — a wide, ever-present grin and a boundless passion for music.

“Scott loved to play — he was all about playing that trumpet,” said Kyle Borthick, Sessions’ bandmate in the blues group The Movers & Shakers. 

Sessions, 53, was found dead in the area of Old Flowers Road and Pingree Park Road in Bellevue, north of Fort Collins. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating his death as a homicide. Officials are not releasing any further details at this time.

Sessions was last known heading to Fort Collins on Feb. 8. When he failed to show up for a gig the following Monday night with George Gray and the Elvis Experience, friends said it was clear that something was wrong.

Credit Courtesy of Kyle Borthick
Scott Sessions (right) with bandmate Kyle Borthick during a recent trip to Memphis.

“Scott would walk through broken glass to make it to the stage,” Borthick said.

Rarely without his trumpet and always ready to play at a moment’s notice, Sessions was an active member of the Northern Colorado music scene. He was not only passionate about playing music but about supporting other musicians, as well, said fellow trumpet player and founder of the annual Fort Collins music festival FoCoMX Greta Cornett.

She remembers how Sessions would finish playing his FoCoMX set, then immediately put on his volunteer t-shirt for the rest of the weekend, helping with whatever was needed — whether it was checking wristbands at the door or MCing on various stages.

“He would go out of his way to find out everything he could about the bands he was introducing,” Cornett said. “So that he could really tell the audience about them. It was obvious that he really, truly cared about what he was doing, and about the people he was doing it for.”

It’s hard to imagine what the music scene will be like moving forward without Sessions, she said. No matter the musical genre, he could always be found singing along to every song in the front row or backstage with a supportive word.

“He brought so much care and so much support to all of our musicians and to everyone in general,” Cornett said. “He genuinely liked people and he loved life and he loved music, and it’s really hard to meet people who love that unapologetically. I feel like all of us are going to have to love harder to make up for that hole that we all have now.”

Credit Courtesy of Kyle Borthick
One of Scott Sessions' (left) last performances was competing at the International Blues Challenge.

Childhood friend Hans Mueller said Sessions took his music seriously, even back when they were both first-chair performers in Greeley's Heath Junior High School jazz band. But he also had a mischievous side.

“I just remember there were a couple times when we were trying to make our band director’s face turn red - that kind of became a sport,” Mueller said, chuckling as he remembered Sessions’ smile as he would try to feign innocence in whatever hijinks they were involved in.

They lost touch after high school but reconnected again about 10 years ago. It was no surprise that music was still a big part of Sessions’ life, he said, or that he still had an easy ability to befriend people.

His impact on others was especially obvious after friends learned on social media that he was missing, Mueller said.

Credit Courtesy of Hans Mueller/Heath Tartan
A photo from the Heath Junior High School yearbook. Childhood friends of Scott Sessions say he knew how to have fun but was serious about music.

“I was blown away by the outpouring on Facebook of all the people that were trying to help find him and then the response when we found out what happened,” he said. “That really just shows how connected he was with so many people and the impact he’d made on people’s lives.”

That kindness and outgoing personality are two things that make Sessions’ death even harder to understand, said friend and George Gray and the Elvis Experience bandmember Eric Weedin.

“It’s not ever easy losing a friend but then when you lose a friend and you find out that police are investigating it as a homicide — immediately you start going through your head, who would want to hurt this person,” Weedin said. “I think most people, you can come up with an enemies list or at least some people who didn’t like them. But in my head — for the life of me — I can’t come up with anyone that would dislike Scott … There’s just people that you feel make the world a better place just for you knowing them and Scott brought that energy.”

Credit Courtesy of Eric Weedin
Friends say Sessions (shown here, right, with friend and bandmate Eric Weedin) always wanted to have fun on stage, and had an infectious energy and enthusiasm.

Movers & Shakers’ Kyle Borthick echoed those sentiments, recalling how fast Sessions befriended everyone he met while the band competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis just the week before. Photos from the event — where the band played in the semi-finals — showed Sessions in a sparkly, red-sequined jacket with shoes to match, smiling the wide, toothy grin he was known for.

“It’s tragic that he’s gone but he got to live out his dream in a big way,” Borthick said. “It’s terrible that it ended like this, but we’ll all remember him. He was not one to be forgotten, that’s for sure.”

The Movers & Shakers were slated to play a show on Valentine’s Day but canceled the performance after learning about Sessions’ death. The band will continue though, Borthick said, adding “Scott would be pissed if we decided to throw in the towel.”

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone who may have information regarding Scott Sessions’ death call (970) 416-1985 or Crime Stoppers at (970) 221-6868 where you will remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward.

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