Beloved percussionist, drum teacher, Detroit-area music dealer and long-time friend of Gibson Terry Breese died suddenly over the weekend. He was 61.

Terry collapsed Saturday after performing at an open mic night with his friend and business partner Paul Huber. 

Nearly 38 years ago, Terry and Paul co-founded the legendary Huber and Breese Music store with the intent to give music lessons. Huber and Breese Music has since grown into a destination retailer in Fraser, MI, with hundreds of musical instruments (including many rare items) and a staff that loves what they do.

“He was a phenomenal dude,” said Randy Jordan, the drum department manager at Huber and Breese Music. “He was part of the neighborhood. He was involved in everything. He did tons of drum clinics, more than anybody.”

Randy said the coolest thing about Terry was the way he interacted with kids.

“They all looked up to him,” he said. “We all did. And he kept everything in order. He was the rock of this place. He was the captain.”

Randy remembered first meeting Terry at a drum competition in 1973. Randy was 7 years old.

“He was this giant, with big curly hair, this black afro – a hippie dude,” he said. “I’m the drummer I am because of the teachers I had growing up. I’m the musician I am because of Terry. You couldn’t hang around this place and not learn something.”

Randy started giving drum lessons when he was 13 years old, and has been employed at Huber and Breese Music since 1983.

“He and Paul started this place … and really, there’s no place like it,” Randy said. “Not in Michigan. Not in the whole country.”

Randy said he was shocked to hear the bad news.

“Terry had some heart trouble, but it wasn’t really serious,” he said. “He recently got a clean bill of health. He took care of himself.”

Funeral arrangements are expected for Tuesday or Wednesday.