Musicians usually have a meaningful story about why and how they chose to specialize on a particular musical instrument. It’s often about how they felt an irresistible pull toward a guitar, the piano, saxophone. Lon Bronson was drawn to play the drums when he was a kid. So what did he do? He played the trumpet. “When I was 10,1 desperately wanted to be a drummer but my parents had a trumpet laying around,” says Bronson, founder and leader of the Lon Bronson All-Star Band. “They said ‘Here you go, you’re going to play the trumpet. It was kind of a sealed fate, I didn’t have a lot of wiggle room there.”
That was 40 years ago, and he’s picked up some percussion experience along the way. But the trumpet has been the bread-and-butter of his career, so in hindsight, it looks like his parents knew something he didn’t. Bronson has worked steadily since moving to Las Vegas in 1985, as a musician,, consultant, bandleader and musical director. For the past 19 years, he’s played the trumpet in his self-named All-Star band, something he calls a “labor of love,” a way to have some fun playing the horn.
The 14-piece big horn band started as a Tower of Power cover band with the blessing and support of its members, Bronson says. Nineteen years later, it’s morphed into more of an original entity, playing what Bronson calls rearrangements of cover tunes, as well as the band’s own music.
The Lon Bronson All-Star Band plays a recurring 9 to 11 p.m. gig Thursdays at the Ovation lounge in Green Valley Ranch.
For more information, visit Bronson’s Web site at lonbronson.com.
– By SONYA PADGETT
-Photo Credit JASON BEAN/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL