Friends, fans and fellow musicians from near and far gathered in Naples FL on Sunday, February 12 to celebrate the love and life of trumpeter Dan Miller. He died suddenly on August 19 at age 54 but left a giant legacy. A legacy of phenomenal trumpet artistry, an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz, renown as a skilled and passionate educator, and a life filled with joy and a genuine kindness to everyone he met.
All of the material on this afternoon, programmed by longtime band-mate Lew Del Gatto, consisted of Dan's favorite tunes. Trumpeters Leroy Jones and Wendell Brunious and clarinetist Caroline Brunious were there from New Orleans, with Jones capping their back-to-back appearances with "When It's Sleepy Time Down South."
|Lew Del Gatto, Terumasa Hino
|Jeff and Preston Rupert
The joyous closer was an extended take on Miles Davis's "Blues By Five," which Dan used as a first-set finale at many of his performances.
This one had a dozen participants: pianist Roy Gerson, bassist Chuck Bergeron, drummer Jim White (in from Colorado), trumpeters Hino, Brunious, Preston Rupert and Kenny Rampton (in from New York), and tenor saxophonists Jerry Weldon (in from New York), Gerald Augustin, Jeff Rupert and Lou Califano.
In his video remarks, Connick said Dan had been a cherished and talented member of his band and a treasured friend. "His legacy is of joy. He was this giant teddy bear of a sweetheart that we all loved so much."
|Blues by Five:
Kenny Rampton, Lou Califano, Gerald Augustin, Lew Del Gatto,
Jerry Weldon, Jeff Rupert, Wendell Brunious (partially hidden),
Preston Rupert, Terumasa Hino