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Manny Lopez has horn of plenty


Dispatch/Argus Photo By Chuck Thomas

Jazz musician Manny Lopez practices his trumpet in a stairwell at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society press conference last year.

Manny Lopez is one of the most consistent guarantees of quality on the local jazz scene. Whenever a fine bandleader is needed for an event, Mr. Lopez seems to get the call, and with good reason.

He is one of the Quad-Cities' finest and most versatile trumpet players, playing everything from jazz in most of the local jazz hot spots to classical as an extra with the Quad City Symphony.

Mr. Lopez has played in bands supporting Bob Hope, Englebert Humperdinck, The Fifth Dimension, The Manhattan Transfer, Ray Charles and many others. He also has played jazz clubs in San Francisco and Chicago.

In addition, he has played with country (yes, country) star Clay Walker at The Mark of the Quad Cities.

Mr. Lopez performs frequently at the Eleventh Street Precinct and Radisson, and last month backed up Frank Sinatra impersonator Rick Sonata at Circa '21.

In 1993, Mr. Lopez organized an orchestra that has performed yearly at the Louie Bellson Jazz Fest Concert at Augustana College in Rock Island. He has served as musical director of the Louie Bellson Jazz Festival since its inception in 1994.

Another feather in his cap was playing the ``Ghost of Bix'' solo in the Lalo Schifrin composition ``Rhapsody for Bix,'' performed by the Quad City Symphony in the fall of 1996. The concert also featured James Morrison, Louie Bellson and Ron Carpenter.

Mr. Lopez teaches trumpet at Knox College in Galesburg and is a member of the Knox College Faculty Jazz Ensemble.

-- By Sean Leary (February 2, 1998)

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