Former “Tonight Show” bandleader and trumpet player Doc Severinsen will join the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra for its 40th anniversary celebration at 7:30 p.m. April 16 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.
Tickets are on sale online, by phone at 402-472-4747 or at the Lied Center box office. Tickets are available to students at a 50 percent discount with a valid NCard.
Within a week of the final “Tonight Show” telecast, Severinsen and His Big Band were on the road, and audiences across America continue to love and respect him not just because he shared their living rooms for so many years, but because of his love of the big band repertoire.
A Grammy winner, Severinsen has made more than 30 albums – from big band to jazz-fusion to classical. His accomplishments began in his hometown of Arlington, Oregon, population 600. Born in 1927, Carl H. Severinsen was nicknamed “Little Doc” after his father, Dr. Carl Severinsen, a dentist. Little Doc had originally wanted to play the trombone, which turned out to be unavailable in Arlington’s music store – so a trumpet it would be.
In 1949, Severinsen went to New York to become a staff musician for NBC. After years of playing with NBC’s many studio bands, he was invited to play a gig in the highly respected Tonight Show Band. The bandleader at the time, Skitch Henderson, asked him to join the band in 1962 in the first trumpet chair. Five years later, Severinsen became the show’s musical director.
Severinsen has not lost his flair for outrageous fashion, his trademark wit or his ability to blow hard with his horn and hit the high notes. He and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra will play swinging standards such as “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Singing in the Rain,” “Georgia on My Mind” and the “Tonight Show” theme.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Doc back to Johnny Carson’s home state and alma mater,” said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center.