Trombone players from Las Vegas and around the country will come together to entertain and celebrate the 25th Anniversary 76 Trombones + 4 Concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 at the Artemus Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway. One of the largest gatherings of trombone players in the world the annual musical extravaganza benefits the Abe Nole Scholarship Fund to assist trombone music majors. More than $100,000 has been raised for more than 50 student trombonists.
The 25th anniversary event features a variety of classic and jazz favorites and standards, including the time-honored “76 Trombones” from the famed musical The Music Man. Soloists include trombone masters Bill Booth, Elliot Mason and Dr. Irv Wagner with special guest conductor and arranger Harry Betts and the entertaining Nelson Sardelli as master of ceremonies.
Tickets are on sale at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office. Tickets purchased in advance are $10 general admission and $5 for students, seniors and military; day-of-concert tickets are $12 general admission and $7 for students, seniors and military. The concert is presented by the UNLV College of Fine Arts and Department of Music and the Abe Nole Scholarship Committee. For more information, call the UNLV Box Office at 702/895-2787.
“We’re excited to celebrate the 25th Anniversary 76 Trombones + 4 Concert, and another great event for trombone enthusiasts and all music lovers,” said Ken Hanlon, 76 Trombones + 4 founding member and Abe Nole Scholarship Committee chairman. “We continue to appreciate the tremendous support from trombone players in Southern Nevada and across the country who play with us year after year and make this event possible. Without them, we wouldn’t have raised nearly as much money for trombone students. Our friend Abe Nole would be very proud.”
The Abe Nole Scholarship Fund was established in the name of one of Las Vegas’ most beloved musicians. The longtime Strip lead trombonist was also the arranger and writer for his own band – called The Boneheads – in the 1960s and the 1970s, which involved several local trombonists. When Nole passed away in 1985, several local trombonists decided to organize a mass trombone concert in his honor to raise funds for trombone scholarships. Eighty professional trombonists from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco appeared in the first concert. The popularity of what was supposed to be one concert has continued to grow to include trombonists from all over the country and as far away as Japan, and has become one of the premiere showcases for trombone talent.
Booth is principal trombone in the Los Angeles Opera Company, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Pasadena Symphony. He has performed hundreds of times as principal with major ballet companies of the world in Los Angeles. Booth’s recording credits include more than 500 motion pictures, numerous phonograph records, and television shows and jingles. His current CD, Balancing Act, has won wide acclaim in the trombone community, and the American Record Guide termed it “one of the finest solo trombone recordings ever made”.
In 1992 at 15, Mason won the national Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Soloist (under 25) Award. He’s continued to win recognition and awards, as a soloist and with his brother Brad with whom he still performs. After graduating from the famed Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, Mason became a respected and sought-after trombone and bass trumpet player in New York City. He’s performed with the HHHMr. Mason?s career includes performances with the Count Basie Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau, Charlie Mingus Big Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, Temptations, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Shirley Bassey, Bette Midler and Natalie Cole. In 2007, he was invited to join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis.
Called the “most listened to trombonist in the world in the ’80s,” Wagner has public performances in more than 30 countries, a television special in China viewed by more than 600 million people, and a radio recital in India heard by 500 million people. As president of the International Trombone Association from 1982-84, he traveled the world performing, teaching and organizing national trombone chapters. With distinguished titles and teaching position at the University of Oklahoma, Wagner also is a trombonist in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and occasional conductor for its Pops Concerts, and guest conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra in Texas.
Betts made his mark in the music industry, particularly in the burgeoning jazz recording field, as a trombonist and arranger and later worked extensively in television and film in Hollywood. He’s worked and collaborated with Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, June Christy, Sam Cooke, Jack Jones, Carol Lawrence, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé. Bobby Sherman, Tower of Power, Bruce Johnston, Jack Sheldon, Milt Bernhart, Bud Shank and Bill Perkins, among others.
As emcee, Sardelli will keep things moving with an entertaining pace. He’s a one-man variety show with a wealth of singing, comedy, dancing, acting and gun twirling talent.