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     Rogers, Barry (22nd May 1935-18th April 1991)

    He was a trombonist, arranger and producer born Barron W. Rogers in the Bronx, New York.  His father was a teacher, choral singer, his mother a zoologist, an ethnic music collector and teacher and his uncle was a composer, bandleader and pianist.  His son, Chris, is a trumpeter, composer and arranger.


    As a teenager he began to take special interest in Afro-Cuban music and from the 1950s amassed a huge record collection of the genre.  He also had an interest in cars from the time he was thirteen, which led to a loss of interest in school and transferring to the Bronx Vocational School.


    He started playing the trombone when he was in his mid-teens and performed in a Latin combo made up of his co-students.  He soon became acquainted with several musicians that worked in the Latin music scene and was performing with various ensemble at many local venues in the Bronx and Harlem.  He also began taking an interest in jazz music and often went to jam sessions that went on in clubs.


    In 1956 he became a member of Hugo Dicken’s band, often performing solos, and his time with them honed his ability to interpret tunes based around African music.  He went from there to perform with several other local bands and caught the attention of the bandleader Eddie Palmieri.  This resulted in him beginning a long association with Eddie and performing in concert and in the studio with his band La Perfecta.  In 1957 he appeared at the Amsterdam Concertgebuow with J.J. Johnson as a member of Jimmy Wormworth’s American Jazz Quintet.


    Described as being “one of the first to play the trombone in the manner” of “any Afro-Cuban trumpet player”, he produced unique interpretations and had an innate understanding of no matter what genre of music he was playing.  So much was his recognition in the field of trombone player that he was invited to be a guest lecturer at Yale University in 1968.  That same year he left Eddie Palmieri and La Perfecta, to return periodically for various performances and recordings, and went to work at Lloyd Price’s Turntable as a member of the house band.  Later on he took studies with the saxophonist Carmine Caruso.


    During the 1970s he left the life of being a full-time Latin musician behind him and went to work predominantly as an extremely sought after studio musician in many genres of music including jazz and R&B.  He also worked fairly extensively in the production of some albums.  In 1970 he joined up with Michael Brecker in the band Birdsong and was a co-founder, with Michael, of  Dreams and often did their arrangements.  1974 he was back working in collaboration with Eddie Palmieri and a few years later in 1979 he was back studying.  This time his tutor was the trumpeter Vince Penzarella who had worked with several acclaimed East Coast orchestras.  He carried on his busy performing and production schedule throughout the 1980s.


    One night in April 1991 he went to bed at his home and died in his sleep at the young age of 55.  He has left behind a legacy of being a Grammy winner and one of the most influential trombonist soloists in the Latin American genre.   


    During the course of Barry’s career he performed with an extensive list of artists that include Aerosmith, Celi Bee, George Benson, David Byrne, Willie Colon, Hank Crawford, Celia Cruz, Manu Dibango, Dr. John, The Fabulous Rhinestones, Jon Faddis, Fania All Stars, Fanny, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Rupert Holmes, Instant Funk, Bob James, Chaka Khan, Ralph MacDonald, Herbie Mann, Jimmy McGriff, Bette Midler, Idris Muhammed, Parliament, Esther Phillips, Jimmy Ponder, Lalo Schifrin, David Spinozzi, Richard Tee, Joe Thomas, John Tropea, Stanley Turrentine, Bobby Valentin and Grover Washington Jr..


    As you can imagine the amount of album recordings he made as a musician and/or producer are countless, but a few of them include Night in the Ruts by Aerosmith, Air by Air, Benny & Us by The Average White Band, The George Benson Collection by George Benson, Don’t Stop the Music by The Brecker Brothers, C’Est Chic by Chic, Imagine My Surprise by Dreams, Blue Moves by Elton John, Perfecta by La Perfecta, Cha Cha Cha at the Coral Reef by La Playa Sextet, Pasaport by Orquesta Broadway, Echendo Pa’Lante, Mozambique and Sun of Latin Music by Eddie Palmieri, Pepper by Pepper, Something/Anything by Todd Rundgren, Hot Cakes by Carly Simon, We Are Family by Sister Sledge, Catching the Sun by Spyro Gyra, Chance by Candi Staton, One Man Dog by James Taylor, Love Explosion by Tina Turner, Feels So Good by Grover Washington Jr. and the soundtracks of Fame and Shag.



    1. http://www.barryrogersjazz.com/
    2. http://www.descarga.com/cgi-bin/db/archives/Profile42?Lh8einfm;;115
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Rogers
    4. http://www.trombone-usa.com/rogers_barry_bio.htm
    5. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/barryrogers
    6. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/barry-rogers-p119799/credits
    7. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/barry-rogers-p119799/credits/date-asc/100
    8. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/barry-rogers-p119799/credits/date-asc/200





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