2011 Guest of Honor

Dan Barrett is an American arranger, cornetist, and trombonist, born in Pasadena, California in 1955. Dan Barrett

The earliest mention of Dan Barrett was in the Melody Maker, 10 February 1973, which reported that he played “Ory’s Creole Trombone” at the end of Kid Ory’s Funeral on 28 January that year.

He also played with other musicians such as Teddy Buckner, Andy Blakeney and Alton Redd, all past members of Ory’s band, during the funeral proceedings.

A major player in the small-group swing movement of the 1980s and ’90s, Dan Barrett’s trombone is equally at home in Dixieland and swing settings. He started on trombone in high school and played in California with the South Frisco Jazz Band and the Golden Eagle Jazz Band, two fine trad groups.

At the urging of Howard Alden, Barrett moved to New York in 1983 where he worked with the Widespread Depression Orchestra, played at Eddie Condon’s club, and in 1985 was with Benny Goodman’s Orchestra.

Barrett came to fame through his series of recordings (both as a leader and as a sideman) with Concord; among his many projects were co-leading a quintet with Howard Alden that was reminiscent of John Kirby’s band of the 1940s, despite having very different instrumentation. Dan Barrett, who also played with Buck Clayton’s big band, switched to the Arbors label in the 1990s where he became musical director and recorded frequently.

In addition to leading a quintet with Howard Alden, Barrett has performed as a sideman with Benny Goodman and Buck Clayton. 

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