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John Rojak

Rojak bio

Bass Trombone

American Brass Quintet; The Juilliard School; Bard College Conservatory; Rutgers University

John Rojak joined the American Brass Quintet in 1991. He is bass trombonist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society, Stamford Symphony, and played for the 16-year run of Broadway’s Les Misérables. He has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, New York Chamber Symphony, and as solo trombone of Solisti NY. As part of Gunther Schuller’s handpicked orchestra he was involved in the recording of Brahms’ First Symphony and Beethoven’s Fifth for a collaborative CD to Mr. Schuller’s book “The Compleat Conductor.” Mr. Rojak has performed with many ballet companies, including the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal, Netherlands Dance Theatre, China, and San Francisco. His Broadway shows also include Sugar Babies and Shirley MacLaine on Broadway and he has played with the big bands of Mel Lewis, Gerry Mulligan, and Bob Mintzer. Besides classical recordings, he can be heard on soundtracks for commercials and films.

Active as a soloist and clinician, Rojak was the first bass trombonist to be artist in residence at Quad City Arts in Illinois/Iowa and has been featured at the International Trombone Association Workshops in Champaign-Urbana and Boulder. He has given master classes and recitals in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Mexico, been visiting trombone instructor at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and adjudicator for competitions including Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, and Tilden.

In the spring of 2000 Rojak made his New York concerto debut, performing Walter Ross’ Trombone Concerto No. 2 in Alice Tully Hall with the New York Chamber Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting. The piece was then recorded for MMC Records. Also, he was featured with the trombone section in the spring concert of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and played the solo trombone part with Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi in the North American premiere of Schnittke’s Five Fragments Based on Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch for Violin, Trombone, and Tenor in Avery Fisher Hall. His first solo recording, “The Romantic Bass Trombone” with pianist Robert Koenig, is available on MMC Records. Other solo recordings are “Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and Strings” composed by Eric Ewazen with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra on the Albany CD, “Bass Hits”, and “Double Concerto for Bass Trombone and Horn” by William Thomas McKinley, also on MMC.

Rojak received a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard and held fellowships at the Tanglewood and Waterloo Music Festivals. He serves on the faculty of Juilliard, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Bard College, and the Aspen Music Festival.