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Radio Milwaukee DJs pay tribute to Milwaukee music icon Cecilio Negrón, Jr.

Cecilio "Ceeloe" Negrón, Jr., core member of De La Buena, passed away Wednesday at age 47. The artist graced nearly every Milwaukee stage in his decades-long career.

Radio Milwaukee DJs pay tribute to the legend.

Kenny Perez

Cecilio Negrón Jr. AKA Papá is a Father, a Son, a friend and he’ll be sorely missed here on Earth but always remembered in spirit and in song. I’ve known Cecilio shy of thirty years and every time we connected paths it was to simply converse about our families, the music that we loved and the community he was so proud to support. Papá embodied what it meant to be “Boricua Hasta La Muerte!” His ancestor spirit vibrated through his hands, and his voice, and reached all who had the privilege of encountering him in the physical. I’m truly at a loss for words… Lord bless his family, watch over his children, and may the drum always remind us of him. Papá we love you.

Ceeloe leads De La Buena at a 2017 Studio Milwaukee session.
A Brady Street moment with Marcus Doucette.

Marcus Doucette

Cecilio “Ceeloe” Negrón was more than a friend and more of a brother in many ways. Although we saw each other in our own times and spaces, he had an ability to connect with wherever you or he were at. His presence always changed the energy in a good way and rhythm ran through him. As a musician, as a bandleader, as a son, as a father, and likely as a partner and definitely as a person, he shone. He was a gifted human being for a human being with many gifts. I will never forget the love that emanated from him in grand and humble ways; fiery, yet cool, he was the first person you could trust. I will never forget him.

Kat Froehlich 

I met Ceeloe in my early 20s at Rochambo, which is where I met most of the musicians who ended up with music on 88Nine. I liked him the second I met him because he was enthusiastic about music, and more importantly, he was nice to me. My mind was in a pickle that day and the kindness he extended to me brought me back into balance. Every time our paths crossed since that day, he greeted me with a hug and positivity. I’ve seen him perform more times than I could ever count. When I introduced De La Buena on stage at Summerfest, Ceeloe knew I had terrible stage fright and gave me the confidence to do the job. He was a good person, a friend and I will hold him in my heart forever.

Negrón Jr. performs with the full band at Radio Milwuakee.

Tarik Moody

I have known Cecilio for years now. His spirit was beautiful. Everytime I ran into him, he would give me a hug. Not only was he musical force for Milwaukee, he was the scene’s connective tissue. His energy on stage was contagious and one of my favorite memories was him performing in “Stevie Wonder Uncovered” which Dave Wake and I co-curated. He truly cared about everyone, and that is a rare thing to see these days. I will really miss him and his kindness and creativity.

Anthony Foster

Babaceeloe, Ceeloe, Cecilio. In this sad and hazy time, I’m hard-pressed to think of a more revered, respected, loved and well known musician in the city than Cecilio Negrón Jr. Be it, the Hip-Hop community, which is how we met, in the 90s making beats. The Latin music community, where his family name is iconic. The ubiquitous and mind blowing De La Buena community, and countless other projects, the footprint and legacy will always be with us. Those open jams at Caroline’s back in the day? Incredible! Always with a hug, and a kind word and a smile and a joke at my expense. We lost a monument with his passing but luckily, for us, the music and spirit lives eternally. RIP Ceeloe.