(Photo: Lindsay Beyerstein)
Your featured co-conspirator today is bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton. Jennifer has a diverse list of credits in both the classical and commercial realms on bass trombone and tuba. Her Broadway experience includes Curtains, Mary Poppins, Gypsy, Young Frankenstein, Wicked, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera. Jennifer has performed and/or recorded with ensembles such as the NYC Trombone Trio, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra , the Jeff Fairbanks Jazz Orchestra and the Disneyland College Band and has worked with popular artists Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, The Temptations, and Ann Hampton Callaway. Her playing inspired Dave Eshelman's Wharton Concerto, premiered by Jennifer and the Los Medanos College Jazz Ensemble in 1998. Jennifer holds a performance degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and is training for her fourth Half Ironman Triathlon.
I actually didn't meet Jennifer when she was in Boston -- she started at NEC just after I skipped town. But she goes way back with Brookmeyer protégé Ayn Inserto — they are both originally California girls, and Jennifer played a stint in Ayn's tremendous Boston orchestra before moving on to New York.
In a bigband, bass trombone does more to influence the overall sound than any other horn save lead trumpet. And it requires a delicate balance -- you want power and depth and resonance, but without the blattiness that usually comes with. You need someone with great agility and time and an unshakeable hookup with the bass player. Jennifer's been bringing all that since she first started playing with us in April of this year, and I'm delighted to have her on this recording.
As part of our fundraising efforts for our upcoming recording, Infernal Machines, we are offering you the opportunity to sponsor a Secret Society musician. Click here if you would like to sponsor Jennifer's appearance on our debut album.
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Darcy James Argue's Secret Society may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.