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Fantasma's Jon Stoll Dies

Saturday, our industry lost one of its true champions. Jon Stoll passed away from complications of brain cancer at Good Samaritan Hospital in Palm Beach, FL. Jon was 54. Jon was a staunch supporter of CelebrityAccess and a friend to all of us. We will miss him dearly. Our sympathies are with his family, including his five children. All of us at CelebrityAccess wish them the best. Regardless of what will become of Fantasma, the company he founded, Jon leaves behind a legacy of making a significant impact on the live entertainment industry for over 30 years. – Peter Denholtz

PALM BEACH (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Jon Stoll has been an integral part of the live music industry for his entire adult life. At age 15, Jon was staging "battle of the bands" events to help raise money for his school in Mamaroneck, N.Y. At age 18, Jon was working backstage in theatres in New York and managing a band. He continued to stage shows throughout his tenure at Bryant College and after graduation, when his parents moved to Florida, Jon was soon making inroads there as well, promoting concerts and publishing a weekly newspaper called "Easy Times."

This early experience served as the basis for what would eventually become Fantasma, a company that Jon would be instrumental in helping to become a major force in the live entertainment industry, promoting more than 500 shows a year at across the nation from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to the Las Vegas strip.

Jon was one of the few promoters who resisted the rising corporate influence of the 1990s, choosing to forego buyout offers and remain independent.

During his career, Stoll had been the recipient of numerous industry awards and was elected as the president of the North American Concert Promoters Association in 2007.

"I just think it's unfortunate that there are less options for artists," Jon told The New York Times in 2006. "If you have no options, then you have to deal with one buyer – and whatever they decide to pay you."

Jon was also a major presence in his community, according to the Palm Beach Post, opening an art gallery, a small restaurant and converted an old bowling alley into a comedy club, which became one of the top comedy clubs in the nation, helping to launch the careers numerous comedians.

"I speak for the entire Fantasma family, all those past and present, in saying we are deeply saddened by the loss of Jon Stoll and grateful for his leadership," said Fantasma executive VP John Valentino. "He instilled ambition and confidence in all of us and provided the platform and the inspiration to be creative and productive in the business of live entertainment, and the opportunity to develop lifelong careers. We will all truly miss his larger than life character, his warm presence and his smiling face."

Jon is survived by his wife Lori, and three children, LJ, Jack and Liana as well as two adult children from a previous marriage.

Jon's family is asking that donations be made to Hospice of Palm Beach in place of flowers. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers