Texas A&M-Kingsville Jazz Festival celebrates 50th year with Doc Severinsen

Jones Auditorium, Recital Hall - 03/10/17 - 03/25/17

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590


Doc Severinsen

This event has sold out!

High school and middle school jazz bands from all over Texas will converge to help celebrate the 50th Annual Texas A&M University-Kingsville Jazz Festival Friday and Saturday, March 24-25. In addition, one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time will be on hand for the celebration. The legendary Doc Severinsen will be performing with the TAMUK Jazz Band I during the 7 p.m. concert Saturday in Jones Auditorium. Tickets are $10 each and are available by calling the music department at 361-593-2803.

In honor of the 50th year of the festival, there will be an Alumni Jazz Band performance featuring former Javelina jazz members Friday night at 7 p.m., also in Jones Auditorium. Also performing Friday night are the Latin Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band II. Admission is free.

The Jazz Festival is expecting 34 school bands from all over Texas, ranging from Austin to the north, Del Rio to the west, Victoria to the east and Mission to the south. 

About Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen was a fixture on late night television for 30 years as the bandleader for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He appeared with Carson and Ed McMahon from October 1962 until May 1992. 

Within a week of the final telecast, Doc Severinsen and His Big Band were on the road, and to this day, audiences across America love and respect Doc and his big band, not just because he shared their living room with them for so many years, but because of Doc’s love of the Big Band repertoire. 

That repertoire includes Duke Ellington and Count Basie standards, pop, jazz, ballads, big band classics and, of course, The Tonight Show theme. 

A Grammy award-winner, Doc has made more than 30 albums--from big band to jazz-fusion to classical. Two critically acclaimed Telarc CDs with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra showcase his multifaceted talents from Bach to ballads. The Very Best of Doc Severinsen reprises 15 of Doc's signature pieces. His other recordings include Unforgettably Doc with the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, and the Grammy-nominated Once More with Feeling on Amherst. He received a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Big Band for his recording of Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band-Volume I

In 2006, Doc moved to San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, ostensibly to retire from performance. Within weeks, he was jamming with the magnificent guitarist Gil Gutierrez. He now tours regularly with Gil in a quintet called The San Miguel Five, performing a mix of Latin and Gypsy jazz and standards, to exceptional acclaim. They released their most current CD, Oblivion, in January 2014. 

While still in high school, Doc was hired to go on the road with the famous Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. However, his stay with the group was cut short by the draft. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and following his discharge, landed a spot with the Charlie Barnett Band. When this band broke up, Severinsen toured with the Tommy Dorsey, then, the Benny Goodman bands in the late 40's. 

After his days with Barnett and Dorsey, Doc arrived in New York City in 1949 to become a staff musician for NBC. After years of playing with NBC’s many studio bands, Doc was invited to play a gig in the highly respected Tonight Show Band. The band leader at the time, Skitch Henderson, asked him to join that band in 1962 in the first trumpet chair. 

Five years later, Doc became the music director for The Tonight Show and the rest is history. His loyalty to Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon never faltered, and the warm camaraderie between the three was an enormous part of the show’s success. When Johnny decided to retire from The Tonight Show, Doc and Ed said their goodbyes as well. Of course, free from the nightly grind of the TV studio, he had far more time to expand his musical horizons and continues to keep an extensive touring schedule.

In addition to his San Miguel Five appearances, Doc tours regularly with his own Big

Band and continues to perform with symphony orchestras all over the country. Over the years, he has been Principal Pops Conductor with the Phoenix Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Pacific Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

50th Annual Texas A&M University–Kingsville Jazz Festival 

March 24

Middle School/High School Jazz Band Competition

3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Free Admission

Jones Auditorium

Friday Evening Concert

7 p.m.

Featuring: Latin Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band III, Awards Presentation and TAMUK Alumni Jazz Band

Free Admission

Jones Auditorium 

March 25

High School Jazz Band Competition

Jones Auditorium:  9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Recital Hall:  10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Free Admission 

Saturday Evening Concert

7 p.m.

Featuring:  Jazz Band II, Awards Presentation, Jazz Band I with Doc Severinsen

Admission:  $10 per person

Jones Auditorium

-TAMUK-