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Madison musicians begin to break publicly with drummer accused of sexual misconduct

More allegations have emerged against David Henzie-Skogen.

Photo: David Henzie-Skogen performing with Youngblood Brass Band in 2014. Photo via Steve on Flickr.

Editor’s note: This story discusses allegations of grooming, abuse, and inappropriate sexual behavior with minors. If you or someone you know needs support, please refer to a Google Doc we have compiled of local, state, and national resources.

Bandmates and collaborators of drummer David Henzie-Skogen have come out publicly to part ways with the Madison-based musician and his Layered Music label, in the wake of allegations that Henzie-Skogen preyed on teenage students in an Oregon drum-corps program. The Wisconsin State Journal‘s Emily Hamer first reported the allegations last week, and reported on Tuesday night that the drum-corps program, Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps, now knows of at least 10 women with whom Henzie-Skogen pursued inappropriate relationships beginning when they were students. 

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Additionally, Tone Madison has learned of yet more people coming forward. I am working on follow-up coverage, and anyone with knowledge of the situation can reach out to me confidentially at [email protected]

Henzie-Skogen co-founded the internationally touring Youngblood Brass Band in the late 1990s, and co-founded the instrumental rock outfit Cougar in the early 2000s. Youngblood Brass Band trombone player Joseph Goltz sent this statement to Tone Madison on behalf of his bandmates:

“In light of the upsetting allegations raised against David Henzie-Skogen, all current Youngblood Brass Band members are in agreement that we will no longer be working under his leadership or with his label, Layered Music, going forward. We don’t know what this means for our future as a band and as individual musicians, and we are absolutely gutted. But our pain is nothing compared to that of the victims coming forward. We thank them for their courage and will hold Dave accountable.”

The New Orleans-style jazz outfit Mama Digdown’s Brass Band, of which Henzie-Skogen is a member, and which has released music on Layered, announced Tuesday and Wednesday on its social media accounts that it would part ways with both Henzie-Skogen and the label: “We are deeply disturbed and saddened by the stories we are reading in the Wisconsin State Journal. Our hearts go out to the women who are sharing their stories about Dave. Like others in the Madison music community who have collaborated with Dave over the years, we feel betrayed. We are unanimous in our decision to break with him and with Layered Music, and we will no longer hire him for gigs. Dave has some significant personal work to do in order to move forward with integrity, and we are committed to holding him accountable.”

Mama Digdown’s member Jordan Cohen has also released music through Layered in his solo electronic project Chants. Cohen also announced Tuesday that he would be “pulling the two releases that have distribution through Layered Music and ending any association with the label.” (Full disclosure: Cohen is the host and creator of Digital Warmth, a podcast hosted here on Tone Madison.)

Saxophonist Tony Barba, a Youngblood Brass Band member whose latest solo album, Blue Plate Special, came out in September on Layered, announced that he is cutting ties as a solo artist as well:

Currently, all the releases listed on Layered’s Bandcamp page have been removed, and the label’s Facebook page is locked down. “As someone who has been closely affiliated with both Shadow as well as the bands and label, I’ve been given the ok to speak on behalf of the latter and myself that none of us had any knowledge of this, and that David has stepped away from performing with the bands and the operations of the label,” Beth Skogen, Henzie-Skogen’s sister, tells Tone Madison in an email.

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