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Bill Berry began leading big bands in the Los Angeles area in the early '70s, inspired by his years with Duke Ellington. After being discharged from the Air Force in 1955, he studied at the Cincinnati College of Music and Berklee. Berry worked in the big bands of Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson before joining Ellington (1961-1964). After leaving Ellington, he was with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra (1966-1968), led his own New York Big Band, and did studio work. After he moved to Los Angeles in 1971, Berry formed the L.A. Big Band, which he continued leading on a part-time basis for decades to come. He has also toured with Louie Bellson and been involved in the jazz education program run by the Monterey Jazz Festival. Bill Berry is an excellent veteran mainstream trumpet player who has recorded several sets (with both small groups and his big band) for Concord.
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