The RIC Concert Jazz Band will be accompanied by legendary trumpeter and former “Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen on Monday, May 2, at 8 p.m. in the Nazarian Center’s Sapinsley Hall. Joseph Foley, RIC associate professor of music, will direct the show.
Severinsen, who toured with the Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman bands in the 1940s before becoming a staff musician at NBC in 1949, led NBC Orchestra on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” from 1967-1992,
When “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” ended, Severinsen embarked on a new career, taking his band on the road, performing classics, jazz, pop, ballads and of course, the familiar “Tonight Show” theme. Severinsen, who is known for his wild fashions and witty repartee, is one of the most prolific, technically accomplished trumpet players ever – and he’s still going strong at 82.
“He’s a real legend, not only of trumpet, but of the music industry,” said Foley, associate professor of music at RIC. “He was one of my idols growing up, and for me to be able to bring him to work with the students is really exciting.”
The RIC Concert Jazz Band will collaborate with Severinsen on “Stardust,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “Swingin’ the Blues,” “Begin the Beguine” and “Three Shades of Blue.” The band will also pay tribute to other great trumpet players, performing Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High,” Clifford Crown’s “The Blues Walk” and Thad Jones’ “Three And One.”
Foley, the studio instructor for all undergraduate and graduate trumpet students at RIC, has over 50 brass arrangements to his credit. He is the principal trumpet in the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and regularly appears with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras.