Kevin Sousa, local musician and ‘heartbeat of the South Bay,’ dies at 52

Kevin Sousa

Kevin Ledwidge Sousa: June 21, 1970-May 26, 2023.

By MICHAEL HIXON | | The Beach Reporter

PUBLISHED: May 31, 2023 at 12:04 p.m. | UPDATED: May 31, 2023 at 6:21 p.m.

Kevin Sousa, the South Bay’s proverbial Renaissance man, who was a singer-songwriter, musician, surfer, teacher, therapist, mentor and community volunteer, has died. He was 52.

Sousa, whose resume included being a touring guitar technician for Glenn Frey of the Eagles and performing with his eponymous band at the BeachLife Festival, died late last week at his Hermosa Beach home, more than two years after being diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma.

His death was a soul-crushing blow to the South Bay musical community.

Sousa’s wife, Patti Sousa, wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday, May 27 — a day after her husband died — that he was initially diagnosed with cancer in September 2020. They remained steadfast, Patti Sousa said, and “charged forward” to fight the cancer and continue serving the community. Kevin Sousa even performed at this year’s BeachLife Festival.

But then, on May 11, they learned the melanoma had taken over his body, his wife wrote.

Patti Sousa took her husband home from the hospital about two weeks later, she wrote, so he could “peacefully transition to the ultimate adventure.” Two days later, on Friday, May 26, Kevin Sousa died.

“To try and articulate who he is in this community would be an impossible task,” Patti Sousa wrote. “But each of you know him, and many of you know me — so you know that he stood firmly on a foundation of love and light and gave that freely to anyone and everyone that was fortunate enough to have crossed through his energy.”

Underscoring Kevin Sousa’s legacy in the South Bay were the tributes — both on social media and in interviews — that poured in after news of his death spread.


Photo: Kevin Sousa, pictured performing with his band at BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach on May 6, 2023, died after a battle with cancer on May 26. (photo by Michael Hixon)

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