Al Chesnovitz, also known as Alan Chez, is an American musician who was the principal trumpet and flugelhorn player on the CBS Orchestra for the Late Show with David Letterman until he left in July 2012. Alan Chez joined the CBS Orchestra on February 3, 1997, after years of sitting in on trumpet and flugelhorn with Paul Shaffer on Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show.
Beginnings in music
Chez started his extensive music career at the age of 9 when he joined his father's local drum corps, the Saints. He went on to join the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and in 1979 joined forces with Jon Bon Jovi to create the band the Atlantic City Expressway, which played New Jersey shore clubs for five years. In 1980, Chez graduated from John P. Stevens High School in Edison, NJ.
Chez still donates his time to drum corps activity, primarily working with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as his former corps, The Cadets. Chez also conducts brass-music clinics throughout the country.
He first met Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra's Will Lee at a club in New York in 1986 and was asked to tour with Shaffer's band. As "The World's Most Dangerous Band," they performed at such venues as the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and Summerfest in Wisconsin, and the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Winter Olympics.
Chez has also played with such artists as Tower of Power, the Robert Cray Band, Dave Edmunds, Dion, Graham Parker, Kim Wilson and Bon Jovi. He has performed at such events as the 1989 Presidential Inauguration, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, John Lennon's 50th Birthday Celebration, the 1996 Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies, the Concert of the Century, the Concert for New York, and the Very Special Christmas Concert. Al was also in the famous New Jersey shore band, La Bamba and the Hubcaps.
Recently, he has performed in numerous halftime shows with the University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band in its second and third years (2005 and 2006) as well as in the halftime show for the 2007 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, being featured alongside student soloists for Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Rhythm of the Night. He also played the National Anthem for the Drum Corps World Semi-finals Competition in August 2008.
Chez was born in Jersey City, N.J., on July 7, 1961. He and his wife, Cat, continue to live in New Jersey.
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