(WTNH)— Legendary Musician and Author Donn Trenner shares about his time with Shirley MacLaine, Bob Hope and so many other icons, as well as his life in Connecticut.
His new book “Leave it To Me: My Life in Music” shares the wonderful stories of his impressive career and the impact of music on his life.
Donn Trenner is an Emmy Nominated musical director, conductor, arranger that came up in the ranks of early bebop pianists playing with the likes of Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford, Charles Mingus, and Ben Webster, appearing on over 100 jazz albums from 1950 onward. During the Big Band era he played with Ted Fio Rito, Buddy Morrow, Charlie Barnett and Tommy Dorsey. While with the Les Brown Orchestra, he worked with Bob Hope for seven years as his personal accompanist and occasional music director, participating in six of the Bob Hope International Christmas tours.
As an accompanist, he has worked with such artists as Lena Horne, Anita O’Day, Vicki Carr, Dick Haymes, Jose Feliciano, Jack Jones, Frances Faye, Nelson Riddle, Paul Broadnax, Rita Moreno, Nancy Wilson, Ann-Margret, and Shirley MacLaine.
A much sought after musical director, Donn Trenner appeared nightly on the famed “Steve Allen Show,” leading theDonn Trenner Orchestra. He was also Ann-Margret’s musical director for 18 years. He worked extensively touring with Shirley MacLaine which led to an Emmy Award nomination for music direction, arranging and conducting the television special, “Gypsy In My soul,” and in 1977, a three-hour television special from the Kennedy Center on the eve of Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration. As musical director for Nancy Wilson he conducted many International orchestras and performed in television specials for Swedish Broadcasting, German broadcasting and the BBC, and in 1978, again at the Kennedy Center, he was the musical director for the “Happy Birthday Bob” show honoring Hope’s 75th birthday.
In 1996, he moved back to the East Coast where he now makes his home in Guilford, Connecticut. Weekly you can hear him leading The Hartford Jazz Orchestra, a role he took on in 2000 upon the death of acclaimed arranger and bandleader Chic Cicchetti.
R.J. Julia in Madison, CT on January 20. 7pm
Breakwater Books in Guilford, CT on February 18. 7pm