Groups I am currently affiliated with (and very proud to be so):
Tom Kubis Big Band - One of my longest standing affiliations, Tom is a world class composer and
arranger and a longtime friend. Bands all over the world have been playing his arrangements for
years, and the band is always top-notch! Over the years Tom has been an arranger for many top
performers, including a long association with the late, legendary Steve Allen, but has also
distinguished himself as a jazz educator, having served as the head of the commercial music
department at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California for many years until his
retirement in December 2012. His Big Band currently performs every fourth Monday night of the
month at Don The Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, California!
Chris Walden Big Band - Chris is one of the outstanding young composers and arrangers in the
world today, with two 2006 Grammy nominations to his credit. His arrangements are original and
exciting, and the world will hear more from him! His CD "Kurt Marti Suite" featuring his big band
and the 70-piece St. John's Lutheran Choir from Hamburg, Germany was released August 21,
2007. He has also arranged three CD's for Michael Bolton (one pending release) and one for
actress and singer Tamela D'Amico - be on the lookout for them! His first symphonic work, "The
Four Elements", was nominated for two Grammys (I wish I could have been on it - it was recorded
while I was convalescing from my health issues of that year and they had to settle for using that
Reichenbach feller in my place) and is a masterpiece!
Bill Watrous Big Band - Long regarded as one of the world's premier jazz trombonists, Bill is a
multiple time Downbeat magazine jazz poll winner. He has had a Big Band here on the West Coast
since 1978, and I have been with him for most of the time since then.
Ladd McIntosh Swing Orchestra - Ladd is a very well known and respected film orchestrator for
many of the top film composers on today's scene and has written for many, many major motion
pictures. His own original compositions, when he chooses to spotlight them with his jazz orchestra,
are startlingly original and innovative, but as of late he has chosen to indulge his love of the swing
era classics with his own renditions that, while faithful to the original spirit of the songs, bear his
own inimitable stamp. His Swing Orchestra performs these classic arrangements for many LA
area dance clubs and societies for enthusiastic dancers and audiences!
Jack Sheldon Big Band - The inimitable Jack Sheldon has been described by Doug McIntyre of
McIntyre in the Morning (KABC 790) as a national treasure, and once you've been to one of his
shows you'll know why! He is a true legend of jazz and showbiz - and you never know what he's
gonna say! Jack is currently sidelined due to health issues and hopefully will recover to the point he
is able to reactivate his big band again soon!
Tracy Wells Big Band - I have been with Tracy's band in one form or another since 1974 (one year
out of high school). I think that qualifies me for a gold watch! Tracy plays every second Monday of
every month at Alpine Inn in Alpine Village in Torrance and features the best of the swing era.
Paul Cacia Jazz Orchestra - Paul is a classic scream trumpet player in the tradition of Maynard
and is a true champion of the Stan Kenton sound as his "Alumni Tribute to Stan Kenton" CD attests.
Our association actually dates back to our senior year of high school when we were both members
of the All Southern California Honor Band, but didn't really materialize until we were both with Al
Hirt's Big Band in 1980. His new CD "Legacy" was released May of 2007 and features many stellar
and legendary musicians! As of late, Paul has been semi-retired due to health concerns - I'm sure
I'm not alone in wishing Paul a complete and speedy recovery so he can send those high notes
screaming heavenward again soon!
Trombone Buddies (more info and buddies to come later!)
Andy Martin - Andy is truly one of the world's outstanding and in-demand jazz trombonists and the
youngest of the Martin brothers. I've known him since he was a young whippersnapper, when he
used to come to hear me play when I was at LB Wilson HS - he later went to rival high school
Millikan, as did his brothers Stan and Scott before him. It is always a pleasure to play with him and
to say I knew him when! Be sure and check out his website to see what he's up to and to buy any of
the several CD's he has made.
Scott Whitfield - Scott could be considered a "triple threat" - aside from being a monster jazz
trombonist, he is also a gifted composer/arranger and singer with several albums to his credit. He
moved to LA from New York a few years ago and has rapidly established his presence here. He
maintains big bands on both coasts and is in frequent demand as a guest artist/clinician. I have
been given the honor to be the bass singer in his new vocal group, the Los Angeles Vocal Alliance
- check back for news!
Bob McChesney - Bob is another one of the world's outstanding jazz trombonists and is especially
renowned for his smooth, fluid technical facility. He has developed and published a method for
doodle-tounging that is highly recommended by many well-known trombonists. His wife Calabria
Foti is a gifted singer and violinist, and she and Bob recently released her CD to great acclaim!
Alan Kaplan - Alan is another incredible trombonist and is possessed of amazing technical facility
and strength. His CD Lonely Town was released a couple of years ago to great acclaim and is
available for purchase at his website accessible via this link. He was the first major trombonist I
got to know in my fledgling days with the Don Ellis Orchestra and was very instrumental and
encouraging to me in those days - thanks Alan!
Bill Reichenbach - For my money, no one else has the vast low brass skill set that Bill does. Not
only is he is one of the world's most renowned and admired bass trombonists, he also excels at
tenor and contrabass trombones, tuba, euphonium and jazz improvisation on all those instruments
- and plays pretty good drums in a pinch, too! Our friend Jack Redmond told me a long time ago
that Bill could play a lead pipe and sound good. But actually Jack is wrong - the pipe could be
made of anything! Bill is well deserving of his standing among his peers as the consummate
musician and is a great guy as well!
Steve Ferguson - Aside from being a fine bass trombonist, Steve is also the proprietor of Ferguson
Music (see Merchants and Dealers below).
Phil Teele - Phil has had a long and distinguished career as one of LA's top bass trombonists,
including a stint with the Toshiko Akiyoshi - Lew Tabackin Big Band in the 1970's and early '80's,
during which time several critically acclaimed albums were released.
John Fedchock - This New York trombone ace and composer/arranger has had a long standing
association with the Woody Herman Orchestra, both before and after Woody's passing. He is
another player of astounding ability, and I was honored to be part of an "East Meets West" big band
he assembled for a special performance he assembled several years ago. He also leads his own
New York Big Band comprised of many of the East Coast's top players.
Les Benedict - Les is truly a versatile trombonist and musician and is gifted on ALL the low brass
Leslie Havens - Leslie is the bass trombonist with the all-female big band Diva and the Artie Shaw
Orchestra. She also leads her own brass quintet Quintessential Brass in her home area of Boston.
Nick Lane - Nick is one of the most in-demand trombonists for touring and recording rock/pop
artists - he is one of only two guys I know of who can honestly say he's subbed for James Pankow
in the group Chicago (Art Velasco is the other). He has recently expanded into composing and
arranging, something I'm sure he will excel at. I'm also trying to convince him to take some
voiceover workshops with me so he can put his DJ type voice to good use - maybe we'll get an act
Friends of other instrumental orientations (more to come later!)
Dan Higgins - The favorite sax player of John Williams (and many others), Dan is one of the LA
area's very top woodwind players - and a fellow graduate of LB Wilson High School Class of 1973!
If you have seen any movie or TV show or listened to any recording lately, odds are you have heard
Wayne Bergeron - Wayne is one of the most in-demand lead trumpeters in the world today and
recorded his Grammy nominated CD "You Call This a Living?" a couple of years ago. His career
includes a stint as lead trumpet for Maynard Ferguson's Big Band, which contributed greatly to
furthering his reputation. I have known him since the mid-seventies, when he was a senior in high
school and we were both in the Pico Rivera Stage Band under the direction of the late, great Stan
Seckler. His spectacular new CD, "Plays Well With Others", is sure to bring him more acclaim.
Mike Vaccaro - Mike is a very talented and versatile woodwind artist and a longtime friend. He also
heads Mike Vaccaro Productions, specializing in musician contracting and assisting with event
Sal Lozano - Sal is a very talented saxophonist and is currently the lead alto sax player for Tom
Kubis' Big Band and also plays with numerous other bands.
Gordon Goodwin - Gordon is another "triple threat" - a very gifted composer/arranger, saxophonist
and pianist, and his Big Phat Band is one of the top big bands. Our association dates back to the
late seventies as members of Bill Watrous' Refuge West Big Band - in the eighties I was his
regular pre-Phat band bass trombonist. He won a Grammy previously for his arrangement of "The
Merchants and Dealers (more to come later!)
Ferguson Music - This is the place to check out if you want an absolute, top of the line brass
instrument! Owned and operated by Steve Ferguson, Ferguson Music is an authorized dealer for
the fine lines of Shires and Kanstul trombones. In addition to Steve himself, sales rep Robert
Coomber, an excellent bass trombonist himself, will provide expert guidance in the selection of
your equipment as he did with me. In addition to their La Crescenta location, they also have a shop
in Long Beach under the management of my old friend Lee Coduti.
S. E. Shires Co.
The Getzen Company
Robert King Music
Trombone Resources (more to come later!)
Doug Yeo Home Page
There are plenty of my friends out there whom I would love to link to this page if I knew you have
a web page - please let me know if you do! If if you don't yet, get busy - if I can do it, anyone can!