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Severinsen Biography



DOC SEVERINSEN is one of today's preeminent instrumentalists. This season, Doc Severinsen will conduct and perform more than 90 concerts in 40 cities from Palm Springs, California to Stony Brook, New York. Doc travels the country performing with symphonic orchestras, jazz and big band concerts, making recordings and commercials, plus designing and manufacturing trumpets.

Well known to television audiences as the flamboyant Grammy Award-winning Music Director of "The Tonight Show," Doc has today unmistakably established a new multidimensional career. He performs concerts in an array of musical styles and joins classic al and pop music groups, as well as becoming a guest conductor/performer with scores of symphony orchestras. He is Principal Pops Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony. Doc also pla ys sizzling jazz and big band tunes with the acclaimed former "Tonight Show" Band, now known as Doc Severinsen and His Big Band.

In February, Doc and the band will spend the month on a tour of the West. In April they continue the tour with a trip to a dozen cities in the East. Doc Severinsen and His Big Band is composed of fifteen of the "Tonight Show's" best musicians, includ ing Ed Shaughnessy on drums, Snooky Young and Conte Condoli on trumpets.

Doc Severinsen has recorded more than 30 albums, from big band to jazz fusion to classical. His recent recordings include Unforgettably Doc with the Cincinnati Pops on the Telarc label and the Grammy-nominated Once More with Feeling on the Amherst la bel. He received a Grammy Award in 1987 for "Best Jazz Instrumental Performance--Big Band" for his recording, Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band--Volume I.

In addition to his performing career, Severinsen, in partnership with Dick Akright, has designed "the ultimate horn." Christened the "Bel Canto," the instrument was passionately designed for the professional player, encompassing the best of Old World craftsmanship and modern technology and is available in limited production.

Doc Severinsen's successes date back to his hometown of Arlington, Oregon. He was nicknamed "Liftle Doc' after his dentist father, Dr. Carl Severinsen. Little Doc had originally wanted to play the trombone, but the senior Severinsen, a gifted amateur violinist, urged him to study the violin. The younger Severinsen insisted on the trombone, but had to settle for the only horn available in their small community--a trumpet. One week later, with the help of his father and a book of instructions, the seve n-year-old was so good that he was invited to join the high school band. At the age of 12, Little Doc won the Music Educators National Contest and, while still in high school, was hired to go on the road with the famous Ted Fio Rito Orchestra.

After completing his studies and serving in the Army, Severinsen toured with the Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnet bands. He settled in New York as an NBC staff musician in 1949, joining "The Tonight Show" Orchestra in 1962, becoming M usic Director in 1967.

Doc Severinsen last appeared with the PSO in Pops concerts of October 1988.