Music Savvy logo black on white

Gerry Pagano’s retirement concert

My long-time good friend and bass trombone extraordinaire Gerry Pagano is retiring from the St. Louis symphony next month after 27 years. That’s over 125 in dog years!!

Gerry and I have talked much over the years about the fate of symphony players resting on the cities in which openings happen to pop up for their particular instrument. St. Louis was the city that provided a job and a home for Gerry and his family throughout most of his playing career. But he gave that city and the surrounding community much more than low notes in the back of the orchestra.

Gerry appeared on local St. Louis media channels promoting the orchestra, his low brass collective played throughout the area, and he enthusiastically perform concerts and recorded albums in the area’s halls and studios.

One of the reasons for our decade’s-long friendship is that we share a strong desire to explore more with our instrument than is traditionally done. For Gerry, that has resulted in numerous concerts with his groups, masterclasses throughout the world, teaching each summer in Interlochen, various self-published CDs, and of course our strange projects including Biosphere and our CD, Roads Less Traveled.

So now, as he bids St. Louis farewell for the warmth and southwestern beauty of New Mexico, he will be putting on a concert June 7th at 7:30 at The Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. He will be joined by some of his low brass colleagues as well as symphony string players that will be performing a variety of great music.

I’ve been helping Gerry orchestrate the multimedia aspect of this event by creating several short videos to be played between staging changes for the different ensembles that will be performing that night. Think ‘palate cleansers’ between sips of fine wine.

The short musical pieces Gerry and I have chosen for these stage setup breaks come from some of my compositions as well as pieces Gerry and I have recorded throughout the years.

One of our most memorable recording session was at Biosphere II, a sprawling earth climate facility in southern Arizona. Generated within a massive spherical dome known as ‘The Lung” was 25 seconds of sette natural reverb. Now, I ask you, how can trombone players resist that?

We couldn’t, so we charmed our way into this odd structure and recorded for several hours. I had written out some duets to record and we each spent time improvising. At one point, Gerry started playing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. I suggested to him that he play the main theme, pausing between phrases to let the notes ring through the reverb. He did a great job so I wrote and recorded a bit of orchestration around his playing and put some dramatic video over the music.

The Ride of the Valkyrie’s V2 for Gerry.mp4

That will give you a sense of the pieces we’ve chosen for the ‘palate cleanses’ throughout the performance.

Gerry will post the concert as individual pieces on his YouTube channel after the performance which I will point you to once they are posted. But, obviously if you will be in St. Louis on June 7th, be sure to check out his concert.

Like Gerry, the concert will be entertaining and full of terrific music. And true to Gerry’s nature, his music won’t stop just because he’s retiring from sitting in that chair in the back of the orchestra.

If you can’t make the concert, feel free to send Gerry a note of congratulations.

Experience the fun and speed of
improving your jazz improvisation!

Groovz Playground
backing tracks (FREE)

Pocket Jazz 60+ lesson
course ($47)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Picture of Michael Lake

Michael Lake

Trombonist, author, marketer, & tech guy

Share this post…

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Most recent
Most popular

It's great that you are enjoying Jazz Master Chat, but you've reach a limit on free usage.

Don’t worry. To continue using the chat, you will need to buy more time. It’s easy to do, and costs only $10 for x amount of interaction.

Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180 bpm
Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm

This is just a fake book example for the type of website I can build for you. Just trying to use a little humor here!