Sat August 26, 2006
Jazz in the Afternoon presents tribute to Maynard Ferguson
Host Chris Cooke interviewed trumpeter/bandleader in 1999
By Chris Cooke
Omaha, Nebraska – Jazz in the Afternoon presents a tribute to Maynard Ferguson, who passed away Wednesday, August 23rd in Ventura, California. He was 78 years old. His death was the result of kidney and liver failure brought on by an abdominal infection, after a brief illness. Mr. Ferguson had recently returned home to California from New York after several sold out performances in July at the famed Blue Note Club. He was preparing for a Fall tour beginning mid-September in Tokyo, Japan. He had also been invited to play for the King of Thailand's 80th birthday in January.
Ferguson, known as ?The Boss?, was a trumpeter since his teens. Born in Montreal, Canada on May 4th 1928, Ferguson started his career at the age of 13 when he performed as a featured soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Company Orchestra. He played with some of the great big band leaders of the 1940's including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. In 1945, at age 17, Ferguson became the leader of his own big band. As a studio musician in Los Angeles in the 1950s, he recorded music for many films, including the Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.
The 78-year old musical phenomenon went on to record more than 60 albums, receiving numerous honors and awards including the GRAMMY? nomination for "Gonna Fly Now." In 2005, Ferguson was awarded Canada's highest civilian honor, the "Order of Canada" from the Right Honorable Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. In addition to those accolades, Ferguson has been the recipient of DownBeat Magazine's prestigious "DownBeat" Award.
Ferguson visited the Omaha/Council Bluffs area on several occasions. Bringing his Big Bop Noveau band to Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs in 1997, Ferguson?s unlimited energy and animation created an unforgettable night of music. A performance two years later at the 1999 Omaha Summer Arts Festival was another unforgettable evening of music from the legendary trumpeter and bandleader.
KIOS Jazz host Chris Cooke interviewed Ferguson in 1999. The trumpeter/bandleader spoke with Cooke extensively about his career, recordings and educational work.
The whole interview is available now at our website at kios.org
Chris Cooke is the host of Jazz in the Afternoon and Last Call on KIOS-FM.