Carmen Mastren

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Carmen Mastren
Birth name Carmen Mastren
Born 6 October 1913
Origin New York (state)Cohoes, New York
Died 31 March 1981
Genres Jazz
Instruments guitar
Associated acts Tommy Dorsey

Carmen Mastren (born Carmine Mastrandrea, 6 October 1913 – 31 March 1981) was an American jazz guitarist, banjoist and violinist born in Cohoes, New York. Mastren is best remembered for his work from 1936–1941 with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra as a guitarist.


Mastren went professional as a musician in 1934 when he joined the Wingy Manone and Joe Marsala band. Mastren worked with a variety of musicians during his career, including Raymond Scott, Ray McKinley and Mel Powell. In the 1940s Mastren recorded with the Sidney Bechet and Muggsy Spanier "Big Four". During World War II he played with the Glenn Miller Air Force Band.

During the 1940s Mastren worked as musical director and conductor for Morton Downey, and from 1954–1970 Mastren played for The Today Show, The Tonight Show and Say When!! on NBC. Mastren died at 68 from a heart attack on March 31, 1981 at his home in Valley Stream on Long Island, NY.

Select discography[edit]

As leader

With Wingy Manone & Joe Marsala

With Dick Hyman And His Orchestra

With Bobby Hackett

  • Jazz Impressions of Lionel Bart's "Oliver!" (Epic)

With Quincy Jones

With Tommy Dorsey

With Sidney Bechet & Muggsy Spanier

  • Bechet-Spanier Quartet (Allegro Elite)

With Bud Freeman

  • Jazz Vignettes on "Tea For Two" (Mercury)

With the Wolverine Orchestra