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Wayne Andre: 1931-2003
Wayne Andre

Born: November 17, 1931 in Manchester, Connecticut
Died: August 26, 2003 in New York, New York

Trombonist with Herman, Winding, Goodman

by Todd S. Jenkins
Copyright © 2003 Todd S. Jenkins

Wayne Andre might have never become a household name among trombone fans like Carl Fontana or Bill Harris, but he maintained a legion of fans who appreciated his rip-roaring approach to the slidehorn. From the time he began with Charlie Spivak's band in his early twenties, Andre impressed big-band listeners nationwide.

Andre began studying the horn privately when he was fifteen. His gig with Spivak did not last long before he was drafted into the military. After his discharge Andre was snapped up by theEddie Sauter-Bill Finegan band, then moved on to Woody Herman's orchestra in 1956 (Blues Groove, Capitol). In that same year he began working with Kai Winding's combo alongside fellow trombonists Winding, Fontana and Dick Lieb (Trombone Panorama, Columbia).

From 1958 onward, Andre freelanced around the city, mostly working as a section-man. The list of artists he backed over the years was astonishing: Art Farmer, Toots Thielemans, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman, Astrud Gilberto, Wes Montgomery, Manny Albam, Kenny Burrell, Patti Austin, the Manhattan Transfer, Steely Dan, Alice Cooper, and dozens more. He was a favored house trombonist for the CTI label, playing on recordings by George Benson, Deodato, Freddie Hubbard and Bob James. Andre and many of his backing-orchestra mates also appeared on dates for Columbia, James' Tappan Zee label, and A&M. Andre contributed to music education programs around the city, for which he was honored by the New York Brass Conference. He remained active until shortly before his death from cancer at the age of 71.

Todd S. Jenkins
Todd S. Jenkins is a member of the JJA, author of Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2004) and I Know What I Know: The Music of Charles Mingus (Praeger, 2006), and a contributor to Down Beat, All About Jazz, American Songwriter and Route 66 Magazine.


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