Wayne Bergeron to visit campus

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author:  quinn bell | a&c writer


Music to my ears / Pixabay

Billy Crystal and Neil Patrick Harris were both unavailable. I suppose.

When I first heard that Wayne Bergeron was coming to the University of Regina, I don’t think I realized quite who he was. In my mind, he was just some accomplished trumpet player who was going to come in and give workshops in the Riddell Centre. I had heard rumours that he had played lead on the soundtrack for The Incredibles, and I guess that was pretty exciting. But I didn’t get it. It turns out he is not just some accomplished trumpet player; he is the accomplished trumpet player. And he can play really, really, really high. 

Who is Wayne Bergeron? Raised in Los Angeles, Bergeron excelled in his school bands. It was there he found his love for the trumpet, and where he learned he was a natural at playing the higher notes. At 31, he officially entered the public eye by winning first chair in the famous Maynard Ferguson’s band. According to his biography, Ferguson called Bergeron the “most musical lead trumpet player” he ever had in his band. Since then, there has been nothing but high praise for the trumpet extraordinaire. 

Mr. Bergeron is an extremely sought-after sessional and studio musician – perhaps one of the most frequently requested artists globally. He is an impressively versatile player, at ease across the genres. His discography and recording appearances show this off – the man has played with so many amazing musicians! These include Ray Charles, Green Day, Michael Bublé, Beyoncé, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, My Chemical Romance, Kenny G., Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, and Seth MacFarlane. There are many, many more. Bergeron is of course also highly respected in the L.A. jazz world. He has played in big bands with the likes of Quincy Jones, Sammy Nestico, and Gordon Goodwin. 

Being an L.A. musician, Wayne Bergeron has also found his way to Hollywood. Hollywood, in turn, has used his talents to great effect – and often. As was mentioned, he was featured in The Incredibles. The iconic, thrilling, wailing, screeching trumpet lines are all him. You could almost call him Mr. Incredible. 

His soundtrack credits go way beyond The Incredibles. Bergeron’s remarkable solos have been featured in La La Land, Rocky Balboa, Aladdin King of Thieves, The Green Hornet, and many more. As a side player, he has been involved in Crazy Rich Asians, Moana, The Predator, Marley & Me, The Simpsons, Hairspray, Spiderman 1 & 2, South Park, Mission Impossible, and that heartbreaking film we all love, Toy Story 3. 

As the 2019 Lois and Thomas Glenn Visiting Artist, Bergeron put on a series of public workshops and performed live in concert with the U of R Jazz Ensembles and Regina Jazz Orchestra on February 13. Hopefully, he taught students how to play high and loud. Maybe how to get famous playing a brass instrument, too.  

It seems pretty remarkable that Wayne Bergeron would come to Regina to give a clinic, especially considering where he is going to next. I checked out his calendar of events, and Bergeron’s next performance will be on Feb. 24. In LA. At the Academy Awards. The trumpet player called up by the Academy itself came to Regina! It doesn’t look like we could get much closer to having a celebrity trumpet player than Wayne Bergeron. 

So just why does Mr. Incredible go out to visit all these small cities? Surely once you have performed with so many of the greats, playing with some jazz band at some unknown university in some unpronounceable province is a bore. But for Bergeron, it’s quite the opposite. On his website he says, “Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than hearing a young musician say that I inspired them or had a positive influence on their life. For me, that’s the real payday.” Educating and encouraging are some of his favourite moments. 

In his own turn, Bergeron graciously credits his own grade school band teachers with his success. They shaped him into something, helped him to harness his musical talents, and encouraged him to take trumpet risks. To all the music teachers out there, I salute you. 

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