Launching into some of Broadway’s greatest musical compositions from swing to modern rock rhythms, The Winiker Jazz Quintet proudly presents ‘Jazz Meets Broadway’ for one night only! With Bo Winiker on trumpet, Bill Winiker on drums, Neil Green on keys, Tom Petrakes on bass, and singer Cyndy Gayle, ‘Jazz Meets Broadway’ will take place on Friday, October 2 at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Massachusetts at 8 p.m.
Trumpet player, accomplished bandleader, and Winiker Jazz Quintet member Bo Winiker spoke about his lifelong dreams, his music inspiration, and future plans. Bo also founded Winiker Music with his brother, Bill.
Examiner: What inspires your music? You graduated from New England Conservatory, but I’m sure your love for music was born long before that. What made you choose jazz and how was Winiker Music established?
Bo Winiker: I love to interact with people and the challenge for me is to always try and figure out what the folks at each specific event want to hear. Sometimes it’s jazz and other times pop music. It is so rewarding to communicate though the music with our audiences. I live for that interaction between listener and music maker.
When I arrived at NEC, I was already a professional musician. Most of the other students at school at that time were all proficient on their instruments, but not many of them had been performing professionally for nine years like I had been. I had a big advantage over many of the students and also had much to learn. The conservatory was the ideal place for me to hang my hat and continue my music education.
Although I got a great foundation for jazz growing up in Millis, Massachusetts, I didn’t choose jazz. My late father was a pianist, bandleader, and a superb jazz musician. I benefited tremendously having a professional musician as a father and learned so much about the music business as a young child. It was definitely a huge advantage.
My late father joined his first orchestra in 1939. There was always music playing live or on recording from the moment we got up in the morning until the wee small hours. We listened to all of the great jazz musicians in my formative years and much of their styles and sounds rubbed off on me.
Examiner: Winiker Music performs a wide range of special events such as corporate parties, weddings, celebrations, and more. Please tell me more about the band. What was the best or most surprising event you have ever performed at?
BW: I performed at the White House and two presidential inaugurations as well as soloing with the New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra. I also recorded a movie soundtrack with Billy Joel.
Although I have had numerous high profile performances, the most important one is always the next performance. Like a great chef who is only as good as his last prepared meal, it is the same for a bandleader. I’m only as good as my last performance and I need to be at the very top of my game each time I perform.
I loved performing at the closing of the Boston Garden. I had been there so many times as a child growing up in the Boston area and got to lead a 16 piece band for its closing. We also had the same band for the opening of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which was quite an event as well.
We performed at the 150th anniversary of the Boston Public Library and the 125th anniversary of the Museum of Fine Arts.
To tell you the truth, I get choked up at just about every wedding I perform at when the father of the bride dances with his daughter. After performing for 53 years, performing is still a thrill. It is the same feeling when I am in my room practicing and when I am on the bandstand. Hearing the sound of my horn really gets me charged up and I have been extremely fortunate to find a career I love so much and am so passionate about for it to eventually be my lifelong work. It has really been a great love affair for me and my trumpet and flugelhorn.
Examiner: What are the band’s future plans?
BW: I want to continue learning new music. I listen to Ryan Seacrest’s American Top 40 every Sunday to see what the young people are listening to. The songs that resonate the most with me we learn and guests at the weddings and corporate events can’t believe that this swing and jazz band is playing songs such as Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass,’ Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off,’ and Pitbull’s ‘Fireball.’ Our band is constantly evolving and that keeps the music fresh and exciting!
The Spire Center for Performing Arts is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Click here for tickets to “Jazz Meets Broadway” or call 1-508-746-4488 for more information.