The news was revealed to fans via The Decemberists’ newsletter and in a post on the group’s website titled “A note from Colin and Jenny.”
Singer/songwriter Colin Meloy wrote that Conlee was diagnosed with cancer about a month ago. Thankfully the cancer was caught early on and the “prognosis is very, very good for a fully recovery.”
Meloy said that with Conlee’s blessing, the band has decided to continue on with the upcoming spring and summer tour dates. The accordion/keyboard player will sit out a number of shows to allow time for intensive treatment and recovery.
“Jenny will very likely miss all nine of our concerts in May and June,” he wrote. “We’re all hoping that her recovery will be such that she’ll be able to get back on board as soon as possible.”
The band’s announcement concluded with a statement from Conlee:
“I am very sorry to say that I will be missing a few shows coming up as I go through treatment for breast cancer. It has been great to be on tour these past few weeks. The band and crew are like family to me and have been incredibly supportive and understanding. To be making music with everyone and seeing the fans has helped me to feel more positive and keep my mind off of my diagnosis. But, alas, as the tour winds down, it is time for me to get back to reality. I will try to get into surgery as soon as I can after we return from this leg of the tour so I can begin my recovery. There are still a few unknowns out there concerning my cancer, but I am thinking positive and hope to be back on the road soon. Thanks for all of your support! See you soon!”
The Decemberists are touring in support of the band’s sixth studio album, The King Is Dead. The No. 1 album was released in January on Capitol.
U.S. dates are on the books from May 29 through the band’s Aug. 13 appearance at Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco.
Click here for The Decemberists’ website.