Trombonist Bohanon to play Pierce Street Jazz

Jazz trombonist George Bohanon

Oct. 31, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker

Jazz trombonist George Bohanon, a former Motown Records musician and award-winning artist, will bring his skill to the stage for La Sierra University’s next Pierce Street Jazz concert.

The Bohanon Quartet will perform Wed., Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Zapara School of Business Troesh Conference Center. Bohanon will lead the band with Theo Saunders on piano, Ramon Banda on drums and Henry “the Skipper” Franklin on bass. Admission is free.

Bohanon, in addition to his performance and recording work, is an adjunct assistant professor with the Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles. Over his career he has worked with the greats of the jazz industry including Kenny Burrell, Yusef Lateef, Donald Byrd, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Earth, Wind & Fire and many others. Hired as Motown Records’ first trombonist, he also accompanied the label’s top artists such as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. In 1980 the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded him the “Most Valuable Player” prize.

Bohanon also writes, arranges, produces and publishes music. A Detroit native, Bohanon began playing trombone at age 8 and later attended Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts. He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and became active in the jazz performance and recording studio arena.

Franklin, a long-time jazz industry performer and recording artist has worked on more than 150 albums and compact discs including gold releases, many of which he produced. He has performed with many headline artists including Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, and Count Basie, and was part of the legendary Hugh Masekela’s band during the late 1960s when the group performed the No. 1 hit, “Grazing in the Grass.”

His recent performances include participation in the 2013 Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines festival in August and the Detroit Jazz Festival in September. He is currently working with the Azar Lawrence Quartet at a jazz venue in Venice, and was featured in the October issue of Bass Player magazine.

Saunders is also working with the Lawrence quartet and appears frequently at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel Air. He has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and concert halls with distinguished artists including Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley, David “Fathead” Newman, Barbara Morrison, Bobby Rodriguez, Gladys Knight, Pharoah Sanders, and many others.

As a composer, Saunders has numerous compositions to his credit as well as original scores for theater, radio and multimedia production.

Banda performed 24 years with the Grammy award-winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. He is a current band member with famed jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. Over the past two decades, Banda has performed with Dizzie Gillespie, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Arturo Sandoval, Diana Reeves and many others.

The Zapara School of Business is located off Yaeger Way, which is the main campus entrance off of Riverwalk Parkway. The university’s address is 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. For further information call 951-785-2148.

  • Last update on  November 04, 2013