Wayne Bergeron

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Wayne Bergeron
Born (1958-01-16) January 16, 1958 (age 58)[citation needed]
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Bandleader, trumpeter
Instruments Trumpet, flugelhorn
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts Maynard Ferguson, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band,
Website waynebergeron.com

Wayne Bergeron (born January 16, 1958[citation needed]) is an American jazz musician and trumpet player who rose to fame in the mid 1980s after playing lead trumpet in Maynard Ferguson's band. He is notable for his consistency and ability in the upper register of the instrument, some of which is highlighted in his scream trumpet work in the soundtrack of The Incredibles. He is a prominent session musician, with his playing featured on hundreds of motion picture soundtracks, and he has collaborated with many mainstream musicians.


Born in 1958 in Hartford, Connecticut, Bergeron grew up in Southern California. His interest in music started at a young age, and he began playing French Horn. However, he switched to trumpet in the 8th grade. While he was in middle school, he was trying to balance on a box next to a car when he slipped, smashing into the car and chipping his tooth. It is thought that due to the chip in his tooth, he is able to blow more air through the horn and play higher notes easier. However, this has not been proven, and even Bergeron himself is not positively sure what contributes to his natural ability on trumpet. He has been quoted saying: “I found I had natural ability for playing the trumpet in the upper register at an early age.”[1] Even early on, he was able to capably play in a high register on the trumpet, a skill that takes most trumpet players years to develop. Wayne has said that it was difficult for him to learn the trumpet because he naturally played everything up two octaves. He could play a double high C (C7) before he could play low C (C4/middle C).

Wayne took to trumpet quickly; Ron Savitt, his high school band director, molded his natural abilities into practical working skills. Savitt did this by having Wayne play and sight-read many different types of music, rather than focus on any one particular type of music. Wayne has credited this teaching method to his success in the studio industry today.

In 1986, Wayne landed a lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band. Ferguson spoke highly of him, “Wayne is one of my all time favorite lead players that has performed in my band. His first solo CD is long overdue.” [2]

Wayne eventually released his first solo album in 2004, You Call This a Living, and received his first Grammy nomination. His second album, Plays Well With Others, released 2007, was critically acclaimed as well.[1] One of the last recordings of Maynard Ferguson playing trumpet is on this album, entitled "Maynard and Waynard."

Wayne is a national artist for the Yamaha Corporation where he designed his own trumpet, the YTR-8335LA, together with master trumpet designer Bob Malone.[1] This is a custom built Yahama trumpet that has a wider bore down the lead pipe than a standard trumpet.

Wayne still resides in Southern California and is a mentor to young musicians. He is staffed at California State University, Northridge, as the lead trumpet instructor.[3] He is also one of the house trumpet players for the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. Wayne also plays lead trumpet for Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Goodwin states that Wayne is the most important person in the band. Goodwin writes his trumpet parts specifically for Wayne, saying that, "...If Wayne isn't there, it just sounds different."[4]

In 2013, Bergeron designed his own range of Gary Radke trumpet mouthpieces.[5] In the collection is the Wayne Bergeron Studio Model, which Bergeron claims "... was designed to accommodate the majority of my daily work demands. This "lead" mouthpiece is powerful, and very resonant in all registers. The core of sound is unmatched by anything I've ever played my entire career. The rim has a soft comfortable bite for improved endurance. I was playing a Shew 1.5 and 2 before I made the switch to the GR Custom. The (GR) rim will feel larger and softer. I lost nothing with the larger rim feel. I gained a better sound, endurance, and range! Many of my colleagues in Los Angeles have noticed my enhanced sound!!". There is also the Wayne Bergeron Classic Model, of which Bergeron states "This GR Mouthpiece shares the same rim as the WB Studio Model. The cup is deeper to enhance the lower overtones and to create a clear, full-bodied sound. Players will not lose any range due to of lack of compression, which sometimes happens with a change to a larger mouthpiece. This is my mouthpiece of choice for smaller ensemble playing, lower section parts, and for the occasional times that I use C trumpet.". Finally, there is also the Wayne Bergeron FD Model, of which Bergeron states "The FD model has a very intimate, dark sound. I’ve used this for several different solos that needed to be more cornet like in nature. The FD is also a great tool for achieving an airy and diffused sound. (ala Chet Baker) I absolutely love this mouthpiece! This is a very versatile and useful tool every trumpet should have with them at all times. Great for that soft entrance or effect in the studio, jazz settings, and also great for the C trumpet in the orchestra. Forget your Flugelhorn, pop in the FD and you won't need to check an extra bag when traveling. The FD uses the same rim found on the other WB Models. This is a standard GR FD Mouthpiece with a Bergeron rim profile.". The mouthpieces are available at his website or on the official GR website.[5]


You Call This a Living? (2002)[edit]

On July 26, 2002, Bergeron released his first solo album titled 'You Call This a Living?'. The album features the Tom Kubis arranged chart 'Friend Like Me', taken from Disney's 'Aladdin'. This chart went on to become one of his most frequently played pieces at solo concerts since its recording. The album also features fellow Maynard Ferguson alumni Peter Erskine on drums and Big Phat Band alumni Eric Marienthal on saxophone.

Plays Well With Others (2007)[edit]

On January 8, 2007, Bergeron released his second solo album titled 'Plays Well With Others'. The album was hit with critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy. The album features Maynard Ferguson in one of his last ever performances on the track 'Maynard & Waynard'. On the album is the Tom Kubis composition 'High Clouds & A Good Chance Of Wayne', a pun Bergeron apologizes for in jest on live performances. According to Bergeron, the piece was composed in just over one day by Kubis.

Amaryllis (Shinedown) (2012)[edit]

Bergeron, in Shinedown's Amaryllis album, played trumpet in Shinedown's song "I'm Not Alright" which was released March 27, 2012 in the United States.

Full Circle (2016)[edit]

Bergeron fronts a contemporary big-band orchestra of studio all-stars varying from approximately 15 pieces to 30 (string section) on 11 different tracks.

Playing with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat band[edit]

Bergeron has held the role of Lead Trumpet in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band since the band was founded and has had two solo charts written for him—"Horn Of Puente" from XXL and "Years Of Therapy" from Life In The Bubble. Big Phat Band trombonist Andy Martin says "Wayne leads by example, and from day one, I’ve noticed that he has something physically special. It’s lung capacity or something. But he keeps working on everything he has and he grows every year.” Goodwin agrees: “He’s like the athlete who trains off-season and shows up at camp with a whole new skill. It’s very inspiring".[6]

Playing with Maynard Ferguson[edit]

In 1986, Bergeron landed the lead trumpet part in Maynard Ferguson's band, a position he had previously been offered but couldn't accept because at the time he was touring with another act. Ferguson admired Bergeron's playing ability, and during a rehearsal in 1999 with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau, Ferguson stated "I just want to say while Wayne is here with his colleagues, that no trumpet player has ever made Maynard Ferguson sound as good as Wayne Bergeron has!”.[6] Bergeron went on to play lead trumpet on Ferguson's album Body & Soul within two weeks of joining the band.

Artists alongside whom Bergeron has worked[edit]

As a sideman, Wayne has been involved with hundreds of recording projects that include:


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ Liner Notes from Album, "You Call This a Living?" 2002 Wag Records.
  3. ^ "Wayne Bergeron | Yamaha Artists". Yamaha.com. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  4. ^ Janine Coveney. "Jazz Articles: Gordon Goodwin: The Phat Boys Are Back - By Janine Coveney — Jazz Articles". Jazztimes.com. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Silsbee, Kirk. "Jazz Departments: Wayne Bergeron: Steppin' Out - By Kirk Silsbee — Jazz Articles". Jazztimes.com. Retrieved 2016-05-19.