HALIFAX - Jay Smith, a 34-year-old guitarist with the band that backs Halifax rocker Matt Mays, has died.
Louis Thomas, the band's manager at Halifax-based Sonic Entertainment, said Smith died Wednesday morning in a hotel room in Edmonton after a concert the night before.
A spokeswoman for Edmonton police said the death is not considered a criminal matter.
Smith, originally from Cape Breton, joined the band in 2007 after playing with another group called Rock Ranger.
"He was a great spirit with a great sense of humour, just a really loving, sweet guy," Thomas said in an interview Thursday.
"He was a great rock 'n' roll guitar player in the style of Alvin Lee of Ten Years After. He just commanded the stage with his sound."
Mays, nominated for four Juno awards, issued a statement on his Facebook page saying he and the other band members were devastated by the sudden loss.
"Jay's wit, charm and unparalleled love of music will never be forgotten," Mays said in the statement. "He was our brother and he will live in our hearts and song forever."
He said Smith's family has encouraged the band to continue with its tour because that's what Smith would have wanted.
Mays said all proceeds from the band's remaining shows will be placed in a trust fund for Smith's two children. Donations can also be made through the Matt Mays website.
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