Trumpeter Doc Severinsen to Perform at WFU

Doc SeverinsenDoc Severinsen, the virtuoso trumpeter who exchanged quips with Johnny Carson for 25 years on the “Tonight Show,” will perform at Wake Forest University on Friday, Nov. 20.

Severinsen and His Big Band will perform as part of the Secrest Artists Series at 8 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

In addition to Big Band classics, Severinsen will play a special arrangement of “Brian’s Song.” The song is from the movie of the same name that chronicles the life of the late Wake Forest football player Brian Piccolo. The audience will be invited to contribute to the student-run Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive at the conclusion of the concert. The fund drive has raised nearly $400,000 for cancer research since it was started in 1980.

Known for his flamboyant style, Severinsen performs in dozens of cities across the country each year. Other former “Tonight Show” musicians, including Ed Shaughnessy on drums and Snooky Young and Conte Candoli on trumpets, make up the 15-piece band. Severinsen has recorded more than 30 albums: from big band to jazz fusion to classical. His most recent, ” The Very Best of Doc Severinsen,” reprises 15 of his hit signature pieces. His other recordings include “Unforgettably Doc” with the Cincinnati Pops and the Grammy-nominated “Once More with Feeling.” He received a Grammy Award in 1987,” for his recording “Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band-Volume 1” in the best jazz instrumental performance-big band category. In 1993, he was honored with his own star on Hollywood’s renowned Walk of Fame.

Severinsen is principal pops conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Phoenix Symphony. He also owns a business that designs and makes trumpets. Severinsen grew up in Oregon, where he began playing trumpet at age seven.

When he was12, he won the Music Educator’s National Contest. By the time he was in high school, he was hired to go on the road with the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. He later toured with the Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnet bands. In 1949, he became an NBC staff musician in New York and joined the “Tonight Show” orchestra in 1962. He took over as bandleader in 1967.

General admission tickets for the concert are $17.50 for adults, $12.50 for senior citizens and non-Wake Forest students. They are available through the University Theater box office at 336-758-5295. The box office is open weekdays from noon – 5:30 p.m.

For information, call the Secrest office at 336-758-5757.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events