All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Bunny Berigan

Bunny Berigan Bunny Berigan

Bernard “Bunny” Berigan left his mark, whether leading his own band or sparking someone else's. Berigan was one of the top three trumpet soloists during the Big Band era and one of the few who had an original style not in the mold of Louis Armstrong. “No one ever played like he played,” Joe Aguanno, a trumpeter who worked with the Berigan outfit in 1939-40, remembers. “The sound was so rich and so soulful. There's something that us trumpet players used to hear in Bunny. When he would attack a certain note, it would sound . . . it makes you cry. The sound that came out of Bunny's horn was just like the type of person he was. He was such a fine,lovable guy... a big man, nice-looking.”

He didn't actually meet Bunny until he tried out for the Berigan crew around October 1939, just before it was to play the New York World's Fair. “I only actually met him when I auditioned for him,” he said. “Before that, naturally, I was a fan of his.”

Aguanno had been recommended by a friend and fellow trumpeter, Johnny Fallstitch, who, along with Bunny, Truman Quigley, and Carl Warwick, made up the Berigan trumpet section at that time.

“I was practicing at my home in Brooklyn, New York at about 2:15 in the afternoon, I'll never forget that, and the phone rang and I answered the phone, “This is Joe.” He called me 'Joe Aguackamo,' and I said, 'No, Joe Aguanno.' And he said, 'This is Bunny Berigan.' And I said, 'Oh, hi ya Bun.' I just said 'Bunny,' 'cause we in music talk that way. And he said, 'I'm in need of a trumpet player tonight, to add to the band. We're going to the World's Fair next week, for a week, and I want you to come in and sit in with the band.'”

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Watch

Similar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.