Sam Pilafian Headlines Bluebonnet Brass Appearance

June 9, 1998

by Richard Veit

The renowned Sam Pilafian--widely regarded as "the world's greatest tuba player"--will make an appearance in Waco on Wednesday, June 17, when he performs with the Bluebonnet Brass in the Glennis McCrary Music Building's Jones Concert Hall. The 8 p.m. concert will dedicate approximately one-third of the program to classical music and two-thirds to jazz and Latin music.

Pilafian's range of styles is remarkable. His virtuosity as the world's greatest classical tubist is well documented on all of the Empire Brass recordings that he made during his 20 years with that ensemble. Peers call the recordings he made with his band, Travelin' Light, the greatest Dixieland tuba of all times. He qualifies as perhaps the best jazz improvisation tubist of all time with his recent recordings with his new group Meltdown.

This is not the first performance in Waco by members of the Bluebonnet Brass. They were the headline musicians at last July's Freedom Frolic celebration, as well as appearing with the Waco Community Band.

"Music has to be fun," says Tom Burkett, Bluebonnet Brass trombonist and founder. "We play music that makes people smile. Part of our appeal is that we enjoy playing music for many diverse audiences." Since the group's creation in 1990, Bluebonnet Brass has presented more than 800 performances nationwide and in Japan.

Tickets for the June 17 concert by Bluebonnet Brass and special guest Sam Pilafian are priced at $10, and may be purchased at the door, or by calling Tom Burkett in Fort Worth at

(817) 924-9696.

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