An Interview with Ms. Louise Baranger
Ms. Louise teaches brass at Music Maker Workshops on Wednesday, Friday & Saturdays
They call you the Trumpet Diva, how did that name come about?
It was sort of a gag amongst female musicians in L.A. My dear friend, Christy Belicki (now a successful trombonist in Germany) was Posaune (German for trombone) Diva and I became Trumpet Diva.
Why the trumpet?
In the 4th grade I started band. My best friend's brother had played trumpet, so she had one, and I decided to play it too. When I started playing it I knew the trumpet was for me. It just felt right!
Can you tell us a bit about your musical journey?
I kind of came from a show biz family. My Grandfather wrote Broadway shows for the Shuberts. He moved to Hollywood where he wrote screenplays for films and some lyrics for TV show themes. My Grandmother studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NY and appeared in TV commercials
I was lucky to grow up in southern CA where the local trumpet teacher was Harold "Pappy" Mitchell, former first trumpet at the MGM studios. He played in films like The Jazz Singer (the first talkie), The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind. What an inspiration he was!
As I grew up I also studied with his successor at MGM, Uan Rasey who was truly a guru. It's difficult to describe Uan, but he made me feel as if there was nothing I couldn't do if I tried hard enough (my parents also instilled this in me).
Another great influence was Bobby Shew, arguably one of the world's finest jazz players and educators. Bobby took me under his wing when I was about 16 taught me about life, music, and how to survive in the music business.
After leaving Saddleback College to study and pursue a career in L.A., I landed in an all-girl band called "Maiden Voyage". At the same time I was playing in many other bands, making my way into the music business. One night Harry James' manager walked into a club where I was playing and the next day he called me to go on the road with Harry's band. In those days if you played with a famous band like Harry's, you are assured a career. After Harry passed away in 1983, I went to Las Vegas to play a show at the Union Plaza Hotel, then came back to L.A. where I embarked on an incredibly busy music career playing with the who's who of the business.
I was lucky to be the first woman in numerous musical situations including live performance and recording.
You've had many television credits and appearances over the years, what is your favorite memory?
What was something interesting about playing on Broadway?
To play at Carnegie Hall is a musician's dream, what was the best part about performing there?
Coming from L.A., I dreamed of playing at Carnegie Hall. Wow! Such a big deal! Then I found out that, to New York players, Carnegie Hall is really just another venue. Still, I played there a few times and it always felt so amazing to be on that hallowed stage where so many legends performed. Plus the acoustics are amazing!
What's the most challenging aspect of being a professional trumpet player?
Can you describe your teaching style?
What's your favorite thing about now living in AZ?
What would you say to a beginning trumpet player?
Any unique opportunities you've been presented only because you're a professional musician?
I've been paid to see the world, play music in interesting places, and played for two sitting Presidents. Hanging out in the NY Yankees dugout before performing the National Anthem was pretty cool too! What more could I ask?
Aside from performing with many of the greats, I've met and rubbed elbows with some really fun people like Milton Berle, George Burns and Frank Sinatra, Jr (who became a very close friend). I've been paid to see the world, play music in interesting places, and played for two sitting Presidents. Hanging out in the NY Yankees dugout before performing the National Anthem was pretty cool too! What more could I ask?
What is a fun fact about you?
Any last words of wisdom?
Can we hear some of your music?
To Purchase Music: https://www.amazon.com/Plays-Great-American-Groove-Book/dp/B075JDMXH2
She'll be performing:
Aug 26-28 as the Featured musician at the Prescott Jazz Summit
The Nash Jazz Club, Phoenix "Wine & Jazz, The Ultimate Pairing" on
Oct 9th, Nov 13th & Dec. 11