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Famous L.A. musician plays big band concert

Meghan Hollis

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The School of Music is presenting the 15th Annual Big Band Concert Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank M. Moody Music Building in the Concert Hall.

This event is free to the public. Each year the Annual Big Band Concert pays tribute to a composer, a genre of music, or in this year’s case, an instrument. In previous years, the concert has presented tribute to Latin and Caribbean music as well as a tribute to Oscar Peterson, a famous pianist.

This year the concert will honor the trombone in an array of musical stylings featuring special guest, Andy Martin.

Martin came from a musical family and launched his career as a trombonist in his teens.

“I grew up in Los Angeles, which helped put my foot in the door,” Martin said. “My father is a trombone player and both my brothers are also musicians. I always loved music growing up and knew it was what I wanted to do”.

Martin said his technique along with his virtuosity established him into the Los Angeles music scene. He has been featured in commercial recordings, television, motion pictures and live theater as well as contributing to albums of popular musical artists such as Pussycat Dolls, Coldplay and Michael Buble.

His contributions include every major award show, and has appeared regularly on the soundtracks of hit TV shows like “American Idol,” “Dancing With The Stars,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “King of the Hill” and over 75 major films.

Martin said he is humbled by the opportunities as well as the experiences he has had thus far in his career.

“I’ve done a lot of different recordings and music production,” Martin said. “Being able to have worked for the soundtracks such as Family Guy, Dancing with the Stars, the movie Alice and Wonderland, and the upcoming Tin Tin movie. I can say it has truly been satisfying.”

Christopher Kozak, conductor of the Alabama Jazz Ensemble, is elated to have made the connection with Martin to come feature in the annual concert.

“We met at the Twilight Jazz Festival last April while on tour to UGA in Athens, Ga.,” Kozak said. “I was very impressed by him and contacted him to come to UA.”

As far as what Martin will be playing in, Kozak said, “Andy will be playing in five to six pieces with the jazz ensemble along with playing five pieces with the newly developed Crimson Slides.”

Martin said he was grateful to be asked by Kozak to be a part of what Martin called a great event. When asking what advice Martin could give to an upcoming trombone player, his response is simply, “practice, practice, practice and be really nice.”

Kozak will be not only rehearsing with the group for the concert this week but also teaching a master class. Martin will hold a jazz improvisation master class this Thursday at 4 p.m. that is open to the public.

This class will be an informal discussion about anything and everything that deals with music. Martin will be answering questions about topics such as instruments, etiquette, how to find gigs and anything else that could come up for discussion. The class should last for about an hour, and Martin said he will also be doing some playing as part of a demonstration.

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Famous L.A. musician plays big band concert