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Don Menza & His ’80’s Big Band

b. 22 Apr 1936, Buffalo, NY, USA. From age 12 Menza took a significant fascination with music, learning clarinet, although he was to instruct himself composing and organizing. Within the 50s, and right now playing tenor saxophone, he inserted military program and was stationed for a while in Germany where he performed within the 7th Military Jazz Orchestra. Through the mid-50s, he used several noted music artists, including Don Ellis, Cedar Walton and Lanny Morgan. In 1960, he became a member of Maynard Ferguson as instrumentalist and arranger. He was after that briefly with Stan Kenton but opted to come back to his city, showing a choice for small-group function. In the middle-60s, he resided and proved helpful in Germany. In 1968, he came back to the united states, playing within the Pal Rich big music group. Resident in LA throughout the following decade, Menza created his composing, both as arranger and composer. Specifically, he had written for Louie Bellson, with whom he also performed and recorded. Within the 80s, he used many Los Angeles-based big rings, including that led by Costs Berry, and in addition led his very own big rings and small groupings. He toured thoroughly, in the home and abroad, usually showing up as an individual. His comprehensive musical history and eclectic likes – he admires and it has studied the task of many traditional composers – also have allowed him to operate in non-jazz contexts. A fiery, intense performer, Menza’s composing displays his bebop leanings, which he provides also into his big music group work.

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