“Practice hard and think big,” are the words Tom Malone gives as advice to aspiring musicians and words he and two fellow Southern Miss music alumni have followed in mastering their careers.
On March 26, 2011, The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will welcome three extraordinary jazz trombonists to the stage: Tom “Bones” Malone from the David Letterman Show Band; Steve Wiest, director of jazz studies at the University of North Texas and Tom Brantley, associate professor of music at the University of South Florida.
This occasion marks the first time the musicians will appear individually and collectively with a Symphony Orchestra. Tunes such as My Girl, Can’t Turn You Loose and McArthur Park will be heard throughout the Saenger Theatrein downtown Hattiesburg.
Raoul Jerome, retired professor of trombone/music theory (1966-2001), founded the Jazz Studiesprogram at Southern Miss in the early 1970’s. All three trombonists studied under Jerome during his tenure.
“This combination should be dynamite,” said Jerome, who commented that all three featured trombonists were amongst his top music students. Jerome will join in the excitement by playing in the rhythms bass section during the concert.
Tom “Bones” Malone, a native of Sumrall, Miss., will be presented with the Mississippi Musicians Hall of FameAward by Southern Miss alumnus, Jim Brewer, the night of the performance.
The Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame was formed after Brewer attended a concert in 1995 at Southern Miss where Dee Barton, a Starkville, Miss. native, was guest conductor and working with the Southern Miss Jazz Ensemble.
“I then started thinking about a way to honor the great musicians of our state,” said Brewer. “Our slogan, Mississippi birthplace of America’s music, is now at every highway entrance into the state and in all the welcome centers.” Currently, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame museum is located in the Jackson/Evers International Airport in Jackson, Miss.
Malone’s name will be listed alongside B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Buffett and Elvis Presley, to name a few. Of course, Malone is no stranger to being associated with music legends.
He has performed, recorded and arranged for Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Phil Collins, Marvin Gaye, as well as hundreds of others. Malone is best known for his work with The Blues Brothers, David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live.
The ties of Southern Miss run deep for these musicians. Malone’s mother, brother and sister all graduated from Southern Miss. Steve Wiest’s brother, Andrew, is a graduate of Southern Miss and current Professor and Director of International Studies in the Department of History.
The Southern Miss School of Music’s Trombone Day will also be held the day of the concert. Brantley, Malone and Wiest will take part in a panel discussion in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center at 1:30 p.m.
The Triple Play concert begins at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418.