Musician dies in between sets at Lake View bar

A 41-year-old local musician died Sudnay night after suffering an apparent heart attack between sets while playing at a Lake View neighborhood bar.

Matthew Richko usually performed contemporary and rat-pack style music Sunday nights and two Wednesdays a month at Monsignor Murphy’s bar, according to Adrienne Misa, a longtime bartender at the club at 3019 N. Broadway.

“He was basically my Sunday cohort,” Misa said. “We were kinda partners in crime.”

Misa originally called off her shift Sunday night shift, but decided to go in anyway. It would be the last time she would see Richko.

He came out of the bathroom after one of his sets and told a bartender to call 911, she said. He collapsed by the sound board shortly after.

Richko was taken to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, where he later died, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

An autopsy Monday found he died of various heart-related ailments, including hypertensive cardiovascular disease, with obesity listed as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Misa said Richko was an “exceedingly talented” musician who mostly played the guitar but was good on a number of other instruments, including the piano.

Richko, the son of jazz bassist Angelo Ricco, was also a singer, according to a biography online. He spent most of his 20 years in the music business in Chicago, and most recently lived in the Irving Park neighborhood.

He had studied music theory and composition at Roosevelt University.

“He was a very, very nice guy,” Misa said.

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