|An excellent trumpeter associated mostly with big bands. Glenn Drewes not only plays ensemble parts well but is a very capable straightahead soloist. The brother of saxophonist Billy Drewes (who plays with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra), he remembers, “Some of my earliest recollections are that of my Dad lullabying my brother, Billy, and myself to sleep playing Duke Ellington tunes on the piano!” Drewes started playing piano when he was eight, switching to trumpet in the sixth grade. He continued playing piano for a time, including gigging at a local strip joint and playing organ and piano with Lionel Hampton for three months during 1971-72, before switching his focus exclusively to trumpet.
Drewes attended the Crane School of Music and Potsdam University (1967-71). “As a young trumpet player I never really zeroed in on a musical career. I was busy gigging and learning and giving a ball, but never thought I was good enough to make it. However, as I gained more and more knowledge and experience, more doors opened for me.” Drewes played in a quintet led by Pete Procopio in Syracuse, New York, during 1971-75 and then worked with the big bands of Lionel Hampton (1975-79), Buddy Rich (1981-82), Gerry Mulligan (1981-85), Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin (1983-84), Dizzy Gillespie (1987), and Gene Harris. Most important has been has association with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (starting in September 1985, when it was the Mel Lewis Big Band). “That band has all of the ingredients: swinging charts, hot soloists, great ensemble concept, a tradition, and, most of all, a steady gig. “I can’t wait for Mondays!” Source: Trumpet Kings by Scott Yanow