Randy Sandke Biography

Randall Sandke, 23 May 1949, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Sandke took an early interest in jazz and began playing trumpet, studying under Frank Tirro at a small private school in Chicago. He played in the school band which at the time included trombonists George Lewis and Ray Anderson. Sandke also wrote music which stood him in good stead when he suffered serious throat problems necessitating surgery. He continued to work in music, employed by ASCAP and also played guitar and piano. In 1980 he was persuaded to resume playing trumpet and he also returned to studying, taking more care with his technique in order to avoid a recurrence of his throat problems. In the early 80s he toured extensively, including playing in bands led by Peanuts Hucko and Bob Wilber. As a child he had been attracted to the jazz of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke but by the time of his resumption he was intrigued by trumpeters such as Clifford Brown.

Sandke’s repertoire has expanded to incorporate these wide-ranging musical forms and he happily teams up with Ken Peplowski or Michael Brecker, Anderson or Danny Moss. Sandke is also interested in classical music and has written in this form but with jazz overtones. Among his works in this hybrid idiom are ‘The Mystic Trumpeter’, a suite in seven parts, ‘When Worlds Collide’, ‘Symphony For Six’ and ‘Fugue State’. His jazz heritage allows him to integrate himself and his playing fully into the ethos of the past while retaining a firm sense of the present. In addition to Wilber’s Bechet Legacy band he has also worked in the Buck Clayton Legacy band, and is perhaps at his best and happiest-sounding when working with musicians from the mainstream, especially those of his own generation such as Harry Allen, Antti Sarpilå and Dan Barrett. His brother, Jordan Lewis Sandke (b. 20 February 1946, Chicago, Illinois, USA) is also an accomplished jazz trumpeter.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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