Si Zentner

Instrument

Simon Hugh Zentner (June 13, 1917 in New York City, United States – January 31, 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada) was an American trombonist and jazz big-band leader.[1]

Zentner played in the bands of Les Brown, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey in the 1940s, then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician.[1] He also landed a job with MGM from 1949 to the mid-50s, and was involved in the music for films such as Singin' in the Rain and A Star Is Born.[2]

The Zentner band began recording for Liberty Records in 1959, recording numerous successful pop/jazz albums during the 1960s and touring steadily with a large outfit.[2] Zentner was a tireless promoter and claimed to have played 178 consecutive one-night performances when the band was at its peak.[2] His ensemble was voted "Best Big Band" for 13 straight years by Down Beat, and Zentner himself was voted Best Trombonist in Playboy Jazz Readers' Poll.[2] In 1962, his album Up a Lazy River (Big Band Plays the Big Hits, Vol. 2) (arranged by Bob Florence) won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.[3]

Zentner's success was thoroughly unusual; he had a thriving big band going at a time when big band music was, for the most part, on the wane.[1] He suffered from leukemia late in life, though he continued performing into 1999; he died of the disease in early 2000.