Jazz

Steve Wilkerson was just a young saxophonist when legendary bandleader, Stan Kenton, hired him to join his orchestra in 1975. It was a great experience for Steve, who went on to play in several bands and with a long list of performers both in jazz and rock. While living in Los Angeles, Steve became...
Phil Ranelin stood in line at school to pick an instrument for band. He really wanted the saxophone but when he got to the head of the line all the saxophones were gone and he was given a trombone. It was not his first choice, but he grew to love the instrument and in fact made it his own over the...
Betty Bennett was inspired to pursue a career in music when she was brought along to gigs by her mother and was allowed to sing with her. After Betty’s first paying gig, making 50 cents for singing a song, she would continue singing throughout her high school and college years, hitting it big when...
Hubert Laws Jr. is an American flutist and saxophonist with a rich family history in the music industry. Specializing in jazz and classical, Hubert started playing the flute in high school and eventually attend the Juilliard School of Music on a scholarship in 1960. With credits like playing in the...
Jeff Hamilton is right at home at the drum kit of a big band. While he has had great success and enjoys trios, Jeff considers himself a big band drummer. One key approach to his drumming is to keep the tempo while bringing out the talents of the other musicians in the band. Throughout his career,...
Conrad Janis played a music store owner on the hit TV sitcom Mork and Mindy. Conrad, who became a trombonist as a teenager, played Mindy’s father, the owner of a musical instrument store set in Colorado. Between takes, Conrad often jammed with Robin Williams who, according to Conrad, played a mean...
Ralph Angelillo grew up inspired by Joe Morello. His dad was a bassist for big dance bands in the 1940s and '50s and his four brothers all played music. In 1961, at the age of 17, Ralph purchased his first Ludwig drum set, with money earned working as a busboy in local hotels. While working in the...
Luis Miranda often visited the Palladium Theater as a teenager to dance. During one visit, Luis was asked by a member of the band if he played the congas since their conga player was out sick.  This was the beginning of a 70 plus year career as a Latin percussionist! He worked with some of the...
Wallace Roney attended the Anaheim NAMM Show in 2018, playing his Kanstul trumpet and taking time to sit down for an Oral History interview. He spoke of his love of the trumpet and some of the players he learned from over the years including Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, who became a personal...
Howard Paul is the president of Benedetto Guitars and has had a passion for the instrument since he was a kid. In fact, Howard was playing professionally when he was thirteen. Over the years, he befriended several key jazz guitarists who were mentors to him, including Chuck Wayne and Jimmy Bruno....

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