Andrew P. Kolaski, musician, sound man

Andrew P. Kolaski, a musician and sound engineer better known as Ace, who grew up in Ridgefield and had lived for years on Douglas Lane, died Thursday, Sept. 8, after what his family described as “a long, courageous battle with cancer.”

Kolaski was the second of the late Julia and Casimir Kolaski’s five sons. Born in Hempstead Long Island in 1948, he moved to Ridgefield from Norwalk with the family in 1955.

Kolaski graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1966 and went on to study astrophysics and music at Ohio State University.

He married his high school sweetheart, Catherine Schemm, and on Sept. 23 they were to have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

In 1961 he played offensive end on the Red Raiders Pop Warner Football team from Ridgefield, competing in the national championships in the Orange Bowl in Florida. While at Ridgefield High School he earned varsity letters in football and soccer.

He began his career as a musician in high school, playing bass guitar in his local band The Pagans. While attending Ohio State University he formed the rock and roll group Jack Slack. Throughout the 70s Jack Slack, based in New Haven, performed in various parts of the country, most often in the Connecticut area. A blues aficionado, Kolaski considered it an honor to have sat in and played bass with legendary blues performer John Lee Hooker.

He later formed his own sound engineering company, Ace and Son Sound, supporting thousands of musical and public events over the years, including Mark Anthony, Johnny Winter, Pete Seeger, Michael Bolton, Joan Jett, and Nirvana. In Ridgefield, his Ace and Son provided sound for numerous events in recent years, including the annual Christmas tree lighting and Holiday Stroll, some of the summer CHIRP concerts in Ballard Park, and the town’s 9/11 ceremonies. In honor of his father, his son Andrew Junior is carrying on the Ace and Son business.

Besides his wife Catherine, he is survived by Andrew Junior and his wife Laura, his grandson Quinn, as well as his brothers Thomas and Gerard. His parents and his brothers Casimir and Matthew predeceased him.

Family services were planned for Thursday afternoon.

A fund is being set up to cover his medical expenses. Contributions may be sent to Catherine Kolaski at 43 Douglas Lane.