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Lodi Band member to play solo on self-penned song

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Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:00 pm

Come Sunday, Jerry Lewis will perform with the Lodi Community Band at Hutchins Street Square.

No, not that Jerry Lewis.

This Jerry Lewis has been a musician for over 50 years, playing 11 different instruments and songwriting.

A Walla Walla, Wash. native, Lewis came from a musical family. His grandfather played the trombone for the background music in the 1907 silent movie "Ben Hur" and his parents played the banjo and the fiddle.

Following high school, Lewis served in the Air Force and spent 30 years in law enforcement with the Los Angeles Police Department and 10 years with the California State Fair Police Department. He was also band commander for the 40th Infantry Division Band and the 300th Army Band for over 30 years and was part of the police band.

While he is vice president of the Lodi Community Band and regularly plays the trumpet with the group, Lewis will perform a flugelhorn solo to "Ring Around the Moon," a swing band piece he wrote while stationed in Guam in 1965.

Lewis, 63, is married with two daughters and lives in Elk Grove.

Q: What was the first instrument you learned to play?

A: That was the ukulele when I was 6 years old. In junior high, I played trumpet and that became kind of my serious instrument. When I was in high school, I ended up playing baritone horn and was also a high school drum major.

Q: Who are your musical heroes?

A: Trumpet player Ray Anthony. I like his style of music. I'm kind of a soft, big ballad guy. I like good music without a lot of screaming. I think every trumpet player has been moved by Al Hurt. And as far as the trumpet is concerned, Rappel Mendez, who I was partners with in the police band. He was the world's greatest trumpet player. He was also very much a driving mentor.

Q: What do you like the trumpet more than any other instrument?

A: One of the things I like about it is that I can express my personality and my musical desires with it. It's an extension of me. The trumpet has a certain personality, if you will.

Q: What are some challenges with the trumpet?

A: Every day is a challenge. You've got to practice every day to keep your lip up and you're always striving to do better with it. Your work is never done. A musician is like a fine wine, if you will. It's not a thing where if you get old, you get sour. You get better with age.

Contact Lodi Living Editor Tricia Tomiyoshi at triciat@lodinews.com.

SEE IT!

What: Lodi Community Band's Spring Concert

When: Sunday at 5 p.m.

Where: Charlene Powers Lange Performing Arts Theatre, Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St.

Some Songs Performed: "Trumpet Fiesta" by André Waignein, "Bassman's Holiday" by Stockton resident Grant Hull and some great movie marches.

Tickets: Free

Information: 333-5550

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