Grammy-nominated trumpet player, BSU Jazz Band to combine forces for concert tonight

The big band sound will roll through the Bemidji State University Bangsberg Fine Arts Main Theatre as famed trumpeter Wayne Bergeron teams up with the BSU Jazz Band I.

The big band sound will roll through the Bemidji State University Bangsberg Fine Arts Main Theatre as famed trumpeter Wayne Bergeron teams up with the BSU Jazz Band I.

Bergeron said he e-mailed parts of his special arrangements to the BSU band members for five saxophones, four trombones, five trumpets, drums, bass and piano. At rehearsal, he said he and the other musicians will decide who will solo on which part.

"That's standard big band arrangement," Bergeron said. "In most big band charts there's usually a section for solo parts. I like to keep everybody involved."

Tickets for the Bemidji Concert Series are $20 for the general public and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the BSU Department of Music, Lueken's Village Foods north and Tutto Bene. If available, tickets also will be sold at the door. For more details, call 755-2915.

Prior to the 7:30 p.m. concert tonight, Bergeron will hold a masters class for BSU students and judge the Northland Trumpet Competition.


"I've learned more from sitting next to somebody I admire and listening to them playing," he said.

Bergeron, who lives in Studio City, Calif., with his wife, Deborah, and 3 ½-year-old daughter, Ella, is now enjoying a career as one of the most active players on the Los Angeles scene. His time is filled with studio dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest soloist appearances and clinics. He has a long list of movie and TV credits, as well as work in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and currently in the orchestra for the Broadway musical, "Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz."

In 1986, he also landed the lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band.

"It's a pinnacle point in my career," Bergeron said. "I look back on it very fondly."

Bergeron said he started his musical career in a drum and bugle corps playing the Linwood Knights. His junior high school band teacher was a trumpet player, so he began studying that instrument. He said he would talk about how he became a musician and some of the ins and outs of the music business during the clinics with BSU students today.

"I think when I got out of school I thought the music business was going to beat my door down," he said.

Bergeron said starting musicians need to get their music heard. He said some jazz musicians live solely for their art, but he believes in making a living, as well as practicing his art.

"I', mainly a jazz musician." He said. "If I were going to pigeonhole myself, I'm a big band lead trumpet player."


Nevertheless, Bergeron said he has performed in a variety of settings.

For example, he said he met his wife when he was working in Disneyland.

"She's a trumpet player as well," he said. "She was in the toy soldier band, and I was wearing tights and a purple cape and a beret and gold shoes."

Deborah continues as a professional trumpet player and Bergeron's daughter is following the family tradition.

"She has a little pocket trumpet she carries around," he said, pulling up a set of photos of Elle in various poses with her trumpet on his iPhone.

For tonight's concert, Bergeron urged audience members to watch the intricacies of a big band, the power and sensitivity of the musical performances.

"A big band is very powerful," he said. "It's a real American art form. It's survived everything."

The Bemidji Concert Series is sponsored by the BSU Department of Music, The Bemidji Pioneer and Super 8-Bemidji.

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