Founding member of Widespread Panic, Todd Nance, dies at 57

Todd Nance, the founding drummer of Widespread Panic, has died at age 57, in the band’s hometown of Athens, GA.

todd nance

The Nance Family said in a statement:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Todd Nance, a founding member of Widespread Panic, passed away early this morning in Athens, GA from sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness. There are no services being planned at this time, but information will be shared as decisions are made regarding the best way to honor Todd’s extraordinary life and career. The Nance family appreciates the love and support of all and requests that their privacy be honored during this hard time.

Along with the Nance Family, the Widespread Panic Family shared these sentiments:

With heavy Hearts and Loving memories we say good bye to our Brother Todd Alton Nance. Widespread Panic was born the night of Todd’s first show. He and Mikey had played music together in High school (maybe Junior high) and with a lucky thought, Michael tracked him down and asked him to join us – because we had a gig, but needed a drummer. For thirty years Todd was the engine of the Widespread Panic. He wrote great songs, and was a giving and forgiving collaborator. T Man was the epitome of a “team player.” Drove the Band and drove the van.

Funny, adventurous, and a very kind Soul, we wish Todd and his family peace during this sad time after so many happy times.

Safe travels, Brother Todd.

With Love, the Boys and Girls of Widespread Panic

Todd Nance was born in Chattanooga, TN, where he received a drum kit for Christmas at age 13, and then formed a high school band with Michael Houser, with whom he would go on to found Widespread Panic, along with John Bell and Dave Schools. The band formed in 1986 and grew quickly, performing at Red Rocks only five years later, opening for Blues Traveler.

Nance was the steady beat from the early years in Athens, GA, setting the tone alongside Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz. Nance briefly left the band in 2014, returned, and officially departed the band in 2016. He also played drums in the Vic Chestnutt/Widespread Panic hybrid brute. from 1995 to 2002, and in recent years, with groups known as Todd Nance & Friends, the Interstellar Boys and the Todd Nance Experiment.

In a 2017 interview with Larson Sutton for, Nance looked back on his time with Widespread Panic with no regrets.

Basically, I had 31 great years touring with (Widespread Panic). I wouldn’t trade that for anything. But, things do change as time goes on. I had to address those issues and put my professional life on the sideline. So now that I’ve gotten that stuff out of the way, I’ve tried to get back to work. That’s pretty much it.

Todd Nance, as told to Larson Sutton

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