Arts & Culture
6:16 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Milwaukee Native Rocks as Head of Record Company - and Cancer Foundation

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews Milwaukee Magazine writer Tom Matthews.

Many musicians struggle, but even so, Milwaukee native Jeff Castelaz is an extraordinary case. 

Jeff Castelaz, during a Pablove Foundation event
Credit Pablove Foundation

After growing up in extremely challenging conditions, he dealt with abuse, professional challenges, alcoholism, and the death of a child, even as he’s risen to become president of Elektra Records.

Milwaukee writer Tom Matthews chronicles the remarkable story of Jeff Castelaz in the December issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

"You know, the story of rock and roll is the story of great rock and roll managers. Artists need that guy who’s just relentlessly, ruthlessly committed to their act, and Jeff clearly was that," Matthews says.

But years ago, Castelaz found himself focusing on more than just music. His son, Pablo, was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer and died in 2009 at the age of six.

"If you mapped his life on a map, the peaks and valleys are incredibly dramatic," Matthew says, of Castelaz's hardships.

In Pablo's honor, Castelaz co-founded the Pablove Foundation, which raises money to fund pediatric cancer research. The foundation works to educate the public and help improve the quality of life for kids living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs.

A concert for the Pablove Foundation is coming up on January 18, 2014.