Trumpet Legend Bobby Shew to Perform with Chico State's Jazz X-Press on Oct. 27th in Harlen Adams Theatre

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World-renowned trumpet player Bobby Shew has performed in the big band groups of Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich and Tommy Dorsey, among others. He has also backed up a who's who of pop stars, including Elvis — yes that "Elvis." His solo CD work has garnered a Grammy nomination and also a Jazz Album of The Year award. He has also played on soundtracks of major motion pictures, including "Grease" (I and II), and "Rocky" (I and II).

Rarely does a trumpet player of this magnitude make it to Chico. His performance with the Jazz X-Press on October 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre will be a "must see," according to Rocky Winslow, Director of Jazz Studies at CSU, Chico.

"Having Bobby here will be like having Yoda on campus -- he will leave an everlasting, thought-provoking impression on our students and all else who take advantage of his performance, master classes and workshops."

Winslow said much of the program for the Saturday night performance was still up in the air and wouldn't be finalized until Shew and the Jazz X-Press rehearse together a few days before the concert. Works being considered, though, are Thad Jones' "Zec," Shew's "Breakfast Wine" and Tom Harrell's "Terrestris," among many others.

"The Jazz X-Press has established a consistent pattern of top-notch, well received performances," said Winslow. "Our guest Bobby Shew is a trumpet and jazz legend. He displays such a unique and personal style, a pure pleasure to experience. The musical combination of the Jazz X-Press and Bobby Shew will be one not to miss."

Opening up the concert – aptly titled, "Shew In, Groove Out" -- will be the Chico High School Jazz Ensemble conducted by Todd Filpula.

Advance tickets, at $15 adults, $13 seniors, and $6 students/children, are available at the University Box Office, 898-6333; add $2 for tickets purchased at the door. For disability-related seating accommodations, please call 898-4325.


Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1941 Bobby Shew began playing the guitar at the age of eight and switched to the trumpet at ten. By the time he was thirteen he was playing at local dances with a number of bands and by fifteen had put together his own group to play at dances, occasional concerts and in jazz coffee houses. He spent most of his high school days playing as many as six nights a week in a dinner club, giving him an early start to his professional career.

Shew spent three years as the jazz trumpet soloist in the famed NORAD multi-service band. Shortly after leaving he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Sam Donahue, which, among other things, gave him the chance to perform quite a bit with trumpet legend Charlie Shavers. After his stint with Tommy Dorsey, Shew played with Woody Herman's band upon Bill Chase's recommendation. He also spent some time playing for the big bands of Della Reese and Buddy Rich.

Shew played lead trumpet for a number of pop stars. This brought Bobby to live in Las Vegas where he became prominent in various hotel and casino bands. By this time Shew was widely known for his strong lead playing rather than as a jazz soloist. So late in 1972 he decided to make a move to the Los Angeles area in order to get reinvolved in developing as a jazz player.

Once in Los Angeles, Shew quickly found what he was looking for, and in the years to come he spent time with the groups of Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Horace Silver Quintet, and Frank Strazzeri-Sam Most, as well as numerous big bands, including those fronted by Bill Holman, Louie Bellson, Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin, Oliver Nelson, Bill Berry, Nat Pierce-Frank Capp Juggernaut, Ed Shaughnessy, Terry Gibbs, Benny Goodman, Maynard Ferguson, Neal Hefti, Don Menza, and Bob Florence.

In addition to being a sideman, Shew also became a leader around this time, recording many of his own albums. Several of these received very high accolades from critics and high placement on the airplay charts. One of his albums, "Outstanding In His Field" was nominated for a Grammy in 1980, while, "Heavy Company" was awarded the Jazz Album Of The Year in 1983 by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).

During this time Bobby also found a great deal of studio work, including TV shows like "Hawaii 5-O," "Streets Of San Francisco," "Bob Newhart," "Mary Tyler Moore," "Midnight Special," "Don Kirschner Rock Concert," "Happy Days," "Laverne And Shirley," and "Eight Is Enough." His work on soundtracks includes "Grease" (I and II), "Rocky" (I and II), "Six-Pack," "The Muppet Movie," "The Drivers," and "Taxi."

Today, in addition to a busy performing and private teaching schedule, Shew spends a considerable amount of time actively involved in the educational system, conducting clinics and master classes at high schools and college campuses all over the world. He has also been active on the Board of Directors of the International Trumpet Guild, and has acted as National Trumpet Chairman for the International Association of Jazz Educator's for 16 years. He authors numerous articles of educational interest in various trade magazines, all translated into several languages for worldwide distribution. During a period of traveling to New Zealand, Shew acted as host for a weekly TV show entitled "Just Jazz" and has been in numerous artist-in-residence situations virtually all over the world. He has even had a few minor acting roles in movies and TV shows.

In his early 70s Shew continues to tour internationally and to produce and record excellent music. He has released several recent albums, including "Playing with Fire" (with Tom Harrell) and "Heavyweights" (witn Carl Fontana).



Listen to Bobby Shew's music
Spotify Playlist featuring Bobby Shew

Interviews, reviews and stories on Bobby Shew
JazzWax Interview: Bobby Shew on playing with Buddy Rich Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
Rifftides review of a Bobby Shew performance
TrumpetPlayer Profile on Bobby Shew
Jazz Connection Magazine's extensive interview with Bobby Shew before his last visit to Chico State, approximately six years ago.

YouTube videos featuring Bobby Shew's music
Night in Tunisia
Aim for the Heart
Here's that Rainy Day

Cuban Chant

Bobby Shew / Jazz X-Press posters

Shew In, Groove Out