Hudson Valley lost one of its most tireless champions of music with the passing of Tony Falco, the face behind one of its most vital and varied performance venues, The Falcon. Falco passed away after a six-month battle with complications from Covid-19, he was 65 years old.
A loving husband, father and an engaged community leader with many passions and skills, Tony founded The Falcon in the early 2000s in Marlboro, N.Y.
The venue became a mecca for jazz, blues, world, folk, and Americana musicians, while becoming one of Hudson Valley’s most prominent and diverse music clubs and well as its most beautiful. Called “The Village Vanguard of the Hudson Valley,” Tony imagined the Falcon as a community-focused, multi-art and musician-centric institution. At its pre-pandemic peak, the Falcon featured music on two stages nightly, rotating art exhibits — the Avalon Archives Museum — two restaurants and a network of trails and decks overlooking Marlboro Falls.
Born on September 12, 1956, Ferdinand and Margaret Falco in Staten Island, NY, where he was raised along with his six siblings. His journey began in 1979, while attending SUNY New Paltz, he met the love of his life — his wife of 37 years — Julie Farrell. They were married in 1984 and had four children; Adrianne, Svetlana, Lee, and Julian. In 1983, Tony graduated from New Paltz with a degree in Environmental Science. Over his scientific career, he operated and designed several wastewater treatment facilities throughout the Hudson Valley and owned Environmental Labworks, a water testing laboratory located in the same building as The Falcon.
Rita Ryan, host of WVRK’s weekly radio show, Local Motion, featured Tony as a frequent guest.
Every time we did the show together I would tell him I thought he was the ‘richest man in town’ like Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Live. For this particular interview he met me in the parking lot of the radio station and brought me pastries from a local bakery. Said he just couldn’t show up empty handed. He loved and was loved by everyone he touched. There will never be another like him.
Ed Palermo, who played the club frequently with his Zappa and prog rock tribute big band, said:
Tony Falco changed my life over ten years ago when he convinced me and my band to make the trek up north to his beautiful club, The Falcon. Tony never once asked me to “dial it down a tad” or keep my mouth shut about politics or anything that ruffled so many feathers the past few years. The club continues to be the best venue for my band to play and be weird. God bless you and your family, Tony. Rest in Peace, my eternal friend.
A versatile renaissance man, Falco worked as an artist, entrepreneur, scientist, engineer, architect, builder, pilot, teacher and environmental conservationist. He was known for his generosity and adventurous mindset, as he loved to travel the world. During the pandemic, he designed and built the Marlboro Nature Trail and had recently took up horseback riding, serving as the proud owner of two horses, Houdini and Cinch.
Tony is survived by his wife and kids; his mother; his six siblings (Gennaro, Julia Ruffo, Eddie, Tommy, Freddy, and Christopher); his lifelong best friend Cliff ‘Sonny’ Benson; his adopted children Suong Huynh and Javier Osorio; his children’s partners, Conor Shea, Alex Neckles, Jessica Brush, and Kaitlyn VanOrman; and his extended family of Falcon friends.
Public celebrations of his life will be held the weekend of November 6. More details will be determined and posted at www.liveatthefalcon.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Amnesty International.