Cumberland University Jazz Band • artist website
Roger Bissell, a trombonist, vocalist, and musical arranger, was born in Iowa in 1948 and is happily married and a proud father and grandfather. While a youngster, he studied music fundamentals, jazz, and composition from the legendary trombonist Rex Peer, and he received a Bachelor of Science in music theory and composition from Iowa State University in 1970 and a Master of Arts in music performance and literature from the University of Iowa in 1971. Since college, Roger has been a professional musician in Nashville, Tennessee (14 years), in California (25 years), and once again in Nashville since 2010. His thousands of concerts, club gigs, live television and radio programs, and recording sessions have included appearances with Bob Hope, Henry Mancini, Jay Leno, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Marty Robbins, Ronnie Millsap, Floyd Cramer, Perry Como, Ray Stevens, Maureen McGovern, Dolly Parton, Toni Tennille, Brenda Lee, Crystal Gayle, and the Mandrell Sisters. His arranging clients have included Glenn Campbell and the Oak Ridge Boys.
In addition to playing at Opryland for 3 seasons and on the Channel 4 Noon show for 7 years, Roger also was a member of the Boots Randolph Orchestra for 5 years and the Disneyland Band for 25 years. He was a charter member of the Nashville Jazz Machine, and he has made frequent appearances with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra and the Duffy Jackson Big Band. He has also appeared since 2002 as a regular member of the Side Street Strutters Jazz Band at jazz festivals and community concerts around the country, as well as on symphony pops concerts with the Phoenix, Rochester, Atlanta, Orlando, and Houston Symphony Orchestras.
Roger's 1992 recording “The Art of the Duo” with pianist Ben Di Tosti was released in 2003 to much critical acclaim (including from the renowned pianist-composers Dave Brubeck and Clare Fischer). Along with his 2010 solo recording, “Reflective Trombone,” it is available from CDBaby and Itunes on Muse Seeker Records. Other recordings in which Roger figures prominently are “The Secret’s Out” (Earwitness, 1978), “Eli’s Coming” (Nashville Jazz Machine, 1981), “This Swingin’ Life” (Don Miller Orchestra, 1998), “Back to Bourbon Street” (Side Street Strutters Jazz Band, 2006), and “Shiny Stockings” (Side Street Strutters Jazz Band with Meloney Collins, 2012).
Roger has taught and lectured on improvisation and emotional expression in music, as well as the nature of art and music more generally, in college courses, clinics, and master classes at Fullerton College, Chapman University. George Peabody College, Belmont University, Cumberland University, Middle Tennessee State University. Heis currently working on a book about the emotional content of American popular songs and Classical themes, looking for ways to help listeners, performers, composers, and arrangers have a more satisfying musical experience.
The Jazz Alliance • artist website
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