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Valley musician and Katastro frontman dies in California car accident

The Corona del Sol High School alum started the band in 2007 and recently performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The Valley music scene was rocked Thursday by the news that founding member and singer of the Tempe-based band Katastro was killed in a single-vehicle accident in California.

Andrew "Andy" Chaves, 32, and two other people were traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, California. 

According to Newport Beach Police Department, multiple calls came into the Thursday morning around 12:45 a.m. after the car hit a curb and collided with construction equipment near McArthur Boulevard and PCH.

All three occupants in the car were killed in the crash. Three construction workers were also reportedly hurt in the accident and treated at a nearby hospital.

Chaves and his band were receiving notoriety in the music world, known for blending rock, reggae, funk and hip-hop to create their unique sound. Coupled with Chaves’ ability to both rap and sing, the future was looking bright for the group.

Chaves, a Corona del Sol High School alum, started Katastro with drummer Andrew "Stravs" Stravers and guitarist Tanner Riccio in 2007. Bassist Ryan Weddle soon joined the group and the four quickly made a name for themselves in the Valley music scene and beyond.

In July 2021, during the Phoenix Suns' run in the NBA Finals with the Milwaukee Bucks, Katastro was invited to perform at one of the team’s halftime shows at Footprint Center.

“It’s dope because we’re from here,” Chaves told 12 Sports’ Lina Washington before the game. “We’ve been watching the Suns since we were kids. So, for them to invite us to a Finals game is incredible.”

The band released a statement on its Instagram account saying:

“We are completely devastated to have to announce the loss of our brother and singer Andy Chaves. Please respect the privacy of Andy’s family and the members of the band as we all begin to process this. Thank you for the love and support. Ryan, Tanner, Stravs.”

The band's post has received thousands of comments from fans mourning the loss of Chaves and there has been an outpouring of support on social media from fellow musicians including Atmosphere, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Sublime with Rome, Iration, and Dirty Heads.

In an article on The Peir.org, Make Patti encourages fans to show the band their support.

“To the fans of Katastro: If you’re reading this, go stream the shit out of Katastro’s music right now! Put it on repeat. Go buy every single piece of merchandise available from the band's store — Show them this community is here to lift them up, to celebrate their music & the positive impact they’ve had on our lives the last 15+ years. Let’s wear Katastro merchandise to each and every show this year & show the band how far our love can reach.”

Katastro was scheduled for the Sunshine and Summertime Nights Tour featuring Iration and Atmosphere. The band was fresh off an April 30th concert held at Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.

There is no word yet on funeral services but fans have created a memorial with pictures, flowers and balloons paying to the local artist in the parking lot of the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

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