Barry Rogers

Barron W. “Barry” Rogers (May 22, 1935 – April 18, 1991) was an American jazz and salsa trombonist.

Born in The Bronx, he descended from Polish Jews and was raised in Spanish Harlem. His family (original name: Rogenstein) possessed a strong musicality. His father and several of his uncles sang in the choir of Joseph Rosenblatt, and his mother taught in Africa and Mexico, inspiring an interest in music from other nations. Mambo and jazz popular in his neighbourhood.

As a student of the playing of jazz trombonists Jack Teagarden, Lawrence Brown, and J. C. Higginbotham, Rogers began to play Latin music in the mid-1950s and would be most associated with it from then on. He developed his style while working with Eddie Palmieri. Willie Colón regarded Rogers as his strongest musical influence and would feature him in many of his productions. Bobby Valentín would feature Rogers in his song “El Jíbaro y la Naturaleza”, which led Marvin Santiago to nickname him “El Terror de los Trombones” for the record.

Rogers worked with Israel “Cachao” López, Machito, Manny Oquendo, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Cheo Feliciano, Johnny Pacheco, Chino Rodríguez, and the Fania All-Stars. Although known as a salsa trombonist and studio musician, he worked with jazz, soul, and pop musicians. He was a founding member of the band Dreams with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, and Billy Cobham. He also worked with George Benson, David Byrne, Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, Don Grolnick, Bob James, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Bob Moses, Todd Rundgren, Carly Simon, Spyro Gyra, James Taylor, and Grover Washington Jr. The father of trumpeter Chris Rogers, Barry Rogers died suddenly in Washington Heights, Manhattan at the age of 55.

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