Bryan Lee Christmas!

-Bryan Lee Obituary

August 21, 2020

Brian Leroy Kumbalek, 77, a.k.a. Bryan Lee, Your Braille Blues Daddy, The Blind Giant of the Blues, a New Orleans Blues Institution, husband, father, and friend, passed into legend on Friday, August 21, 2020, at Tidewell Hospice House in Sarasota, FL. He is survived by his wife, Bethany Kumbalek, his daughter, Dena Darrow, his son Bryan Kumbalek, children’s mother Penny Bews, step children Sarah M. Harder, Alison Harder (Zach Colvin) grandson Noah Harder, Christopher Cahill, his sister Vicky (Rich Reilly), brother Gary (Gayle), nieces Megan Reilly and Shannon Kumbalek, nephews Raymond Reilly (Kimberly) and Robert Kumbalekalong with many beloved extended family members. 

Brian made the world a better place by sharing his God-given musical talent.  He began performing professionally at the age of 13, in his birthplace of Two Rivers, WI, and continued playing all over the world until 2020. 

Major Achievements: 2011: Grammy Nominee with Kenny Wayne Shepard, BMA Blues Rock Album of the Year, 2015 Big City Rhythm and Blues Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 Legendary Blues Artist  Blues Hall of Fame, Legendary Blues Artist Florida Blues Hall of Fame, 2017, WAMI Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 Phoenix Radio Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous Blues Societies Awards. 

“A gift is not a gift unless, you share it. God gave me the gift of the Blues, and I want to share my gift with you.” -Bryan Lee 

The funeral will be held Wednesday, August 26th at 10:00 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 3100 26th St. W. in Bradenton, FL. The ceremony will be streamed on Facebook via BryanLeeBrailleBluesDaddy. 

Brian’s family whole-heartedly thanks the staff of Bradenton and Sarasota Tidewell Hospice, BayCare Home Health Care, the Community Paramedics Program, and Bradenton EMT’s for their loving care and support. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred, and will be used in remembrance of Bryan’s name in Two Rivers, WI and New Orleans, LA and can be sent to: 

Bethany Lee Kumbalek 

PO Box 10547 

Bradenton, Fl 34282



In tribute

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

August 21, 2020

Today the blues community lost a legend, and I lost a dear friend and mentor. Check this brief video of him from my documentary and get inside the soul of a man born to play the Blues.

Rest In Peace Bryan. We love you dearly.”  —Kenny Wayne Shepherd