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PETE BARBUTTI is a master comic with a talent for jazz music — accordion, specifically but also trumpet, piano, cigar and broom.

In his 50+ year career Pete has entertained with famous routines such as “The 4th Chair Trumpet,” “Cordeen School'”(about an accordion teacher who sells a lot of accordions but whose students never seem to learn much), and “Tuning the Piano Stool.”

In addition to appearing on numerous variety, talk and game shows and entertaining on jazz cruises, he hosted  his own show in Canada called “Pete’s Place.”

We are honored to have Pete Barbutti serve as our host for this occasion.

 

CARL SAUNDERS  –  Musical Director.  Regarded by fans and fellow musicians alike as one of the greatest trumpet players, Carl’s career has encompassed playing with Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Johnny Mandel , Claire Fischer, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Frank  Sinatra, Paul Anka and Robert Goulet, Si Zentner, Harry James, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnet.

Saunders has also worked with John Williams and the big bands of Bob Florence, Johnny Mandel, Gerald Wilson, the Phil Norman Tentet and the Dave Pell Octet.

In 1984, Carl moved to Los Angeles where he was soon playing lead trumpet with Bill Holmans Orchestra, a position he still holds. In addition, he heads his own groups including the Carl Saunders Be Bop Big Band, his Sextet and a Quartet.

 

MARLENA SHAW has worked, recorded, and toured with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Frank Foster, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, Joe Williams and Sammy Davis, Jr., graced the stages of Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, and performed at the White House.

As the first female artist signed to the Blue Note label she recorded five albums and numerous singles.  In 2014 Blue Note reissued her catalog and in 2017 Akshin Alizadeh delivered two remixes of her signature “Woman of the Ghetto” track as a limited-edition single on Cold Busted.  The recording was spun by Gilles Peterson and made club DJ playlists across Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Prominently featured in numerous high-profile TV commercials and movies, her club show dazzles audiences with her unique blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B. Marlene received the World Wide Music Lifetime Achievement Award in London, and closer to home she is a member of the UNLV Artists and Entertainers Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

CURT MILLER is the leader and co-ordinator of the BoneHeads. It was during his time at UNLV in the music department that Curt became serious about the trombone. During the late 1970s, Jimmy Trimble (former lead trombonist with Buddy Rich) started using Curt as a sub at the Dunes “Casino de Paris” show. Jimmy was also playing in many of the late night bands at the old musician’s union and started using Curt on 2nd trombone on nearly all of them. These opportunities, along with an internship program being run by UNLV music department helped introduce Curt to the pro players in town and work started to increase.

Curt subsequently took over the lead chair on the Lewis Elias Relief Orchestra.  Over the following years he was at the Desert Inn hotel, with Siegfried and Roy at the Frontier, and the Johnny Haig orchestra at Caesars Palace.  During the 1990s he was offered the assistant musical director and contractor position at the Steve Wynn properties (Mirage, Treasure Island and Golden Nugget), a position he held for four years. Curt is currently lead trombone chair for the Lady Gaga Residency at the Park Hotel.

The Boneheads is a group comprised of 6 trombone players and 4 rhythm players. The players rotate depending on availability. The group has become known as the “ultimate trombone band” and there’s no shortage of players willing to jump at the chance to play with the group.   

The original group was formed by Abe Nole in the early 1960s. The musicians would usually work 2 shows per night, 6 or 7 nights a week performing with every star on the strip from the Rat Pack to Elvis and the production shows. They’d then get together after hours for their own enjoyment, rehearsing at the old Silver Slipper in Las Vegas on the 2nd floor and sometimes at Abes home. By the late 60s the group was rehearsing backstage at the Frontier Hotel and at the Town Pub on Koval Lane.

The group stopped playing in the early 1980’s and disappeared for almost 23 years until one day in 2007 Ken Hanlon decided to coordinate a jazz cruise with the legendary Bob McChesney.  He called Curt Miller to re-assemble the group.  “We scraped together about 25 charts from the old books to be able to perform the jazz cruise, and I decided to keep the group going after the cruise was over.  We are now up to about 92 charts in the book thanks to such notable composers/arrangers as Gary Anderson, Jim Belk, Steve Flora, Nate Kimball, Nathan Tanouye, Barry Ross, and a few that I have arranged.