Although trumpeter Randy Sandke is best known for playing classic jazz and swing, he has always been interested and quite adept at playing more modern jazz. Born in Chicago in 1949, he began playing trumpet when he was 10 and also learned piano. While attending Indiana University in 1968 he formed a rock group with Michael Brecker. Sandke was offered a chance to join Janis Joplin’s band but he developed a hernia in his throat and, although he underwent a successful operation, he stopped playing trumpet for most of a decade, playing piano and guitar instead. Sandke returned to the trumpet in 1979 and became one of the most technically skilled players on the instrument in trad jazz. He worked with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks for five years, Bob Wilber, the Benny Goodman Orchestra of 1985-86, the Newport All-Stars and the Buck Clayton Big Band (1986-91). Sandke has since performed at many classic jazz parties, recorded with quite a few all-stars (including Jon Hendricks, Ralph Sutton, Kenny Davern, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Harry Allen, Ken Peplowski, Karrin Allyson, Marty Grosz, Daryl Sherman, Flip Phillips, Dick Hyman and Johnny Varro’s Swing 7), and visited Europe over 20 times. On his Re-Discovered Louis and Bix recording for the Nagel-Heyer label, he very ably plays the roles of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. In addition, some of his own recordings are much more modern, featuring him holding his own with the likes of the late Michael Brecker and Ray Anderson. His Metatonal and Inside Out Bands feature Sandke creating fresh new music.
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