In February, Curtis was diagnosed with a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer found in the lymphatic system. While it was said to be treatable, Curtis passed away Sunday night at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was 35.
In 2007, Curtis teamed with sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza for School of Seven Bells. They went on to release three studio albums, including 2008’s Alpinisms, 2010’s Disconnect From Desire, and 2012’s Ghostory.
Prior to forming School of Seven Bells, Curtis was a member of Secret Machines alongside his brother Brandon. Benjamin appeared on the Machines’ first two albums and also got to open for U2 back in 2006.
Update: School of Seven Bells has issued a statement on Curtis’ passing.
Last night, Dec. 29th 2013, we lost our friend and brother Benjamin Curtis to his fight against cancer.
While we had hoped to delay this announcement until a more suitable time when his friends and family could feel better prepared and settled to greet any correspondences from folks attempting to reach out, unfortunately the news has prematurely leaked. So we felt it would be appropriate to at least offer an official acknowledgement from us, in light of all the fans who loved and supported Benjamin and his music.
We kindly ask that his immediate family, friends & bandmates’ privacy be respected during this time, and that instead, any inquires, well wishes, or notes-of-consolation be sent through School of Seven Bells’ management, where it can be shared with them at the suitable time. They can be sent to a special e-mail address here: firstname.lastname@example.org
If relevant, further information will be made available through the suitable channels in the near future.
We can’t thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough. All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures. We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.
Watch School of Seven Bells’ video for “Half Asleep” and see Curtis get interviewed at a record store: