Russell J. Bobrowski – Violin
Eugene Brusiloff – Trombone
Robert Evans – Saxophone/Arranger/Copyist
Le Roy W. Harris, Jr. – Saxophone
Amedeo W. Liva – Violin
Ellen Lonardo – Electric Guitar
Jerome Nazer – Saxophone
Michael Petry – Saxophone
Peter P. Sbarbaro – Piano
Sol Shapiro – Saxophone
Eugene Brusiloff, 75, a trombonist and an 802 member since 1945, died on March 28. The following obituary is reprinted and edited from Newsday.
Family, to world-renowned musician Eugene Brusiloff of Great Neck — whose trombone was a staple at U.S. presidential inaugurations since 1949 — was the soundtrack of life. It informed the music he gave to the world and gave rhythm to the private moments of his days, many of which he began by singing a ditty to his grandson, Harrison.
Indeed, Mr. Brusiloff was instructing one of the thousands of students he has touched in a career spanning decades when he was struck by a heart attack.
His death ended a life marked by achievements including playing in orchestras backing up Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett.
Mr. Brusiloff taught in the Manhasset, Great Neck and Mineola school systems. He also taught privately and performed all over the world.
He played for President Clinton’s inauguration as a member of the Meyer Davis Orchestra. He had played with other orchestras chosen to appear at the inaugural balls, including Lester Lanin and Peter Duchin.
He had a soft spot for the young learner, taking time to demystify the instruments — he could play all orchestral instruments except the harp — and writing arrangements for many songs. Two of his songs, “Fidgets” and “Petrology,” are standard selections in countless school music programs.
“He really had a way of appealing to young people just starting out in music,” said Lesley Friedman Rosenthal, general counsel for Lincoln Center, who also plays violin for the Park Avenue Symphony Orchestra. She was 7 years old when Mr. Brusiloff began training her on the violin.
Local 802’s Bill Crow remembers that Mr. Brusiloff had a wonderful comedy act with a special trombone he devised, with a bell that rose for high notes and descended for low ones.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis, son Paul and his family, and daughter Amy Fink, whose husband is Jonathan and son is Harrison.
Robert Evans, 88, a saxophonist, clarinetist and music educator, died last Nov. 12.
Born in Mt. Vernon, NY, Mr. Evans began playing clarinet and saxophone in jazz bands, but later turned his love of playing into a fruitful teaching career. He taught in the Mt. Vernon school system from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.
A number of his students rose to prominence. Among them was John Purcell, a former member of the World Saxophone Quartet, who has worked with Stevie Wonder, Tito Puente and Dizzy Gillespie and is now a sound consultant for David Sanborn.
Using his basic knowledge of all instruments, Robert Evans recognized talent before him. Encouraged by Evans to study drums privately, Danny Pucillo went on to record with such artists as Andy Williams, Sonny and Cher, and the Jackson Five. Mark Gould, a trumpeter and faculty member at Juilliard, learned the basics from Mr. Evans as well. He became principal trumpet player of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1974 and remained there until 2003.
Mr. Evans’ enthusiasm also touched other educators. Under Evans’ wing, the young Neil Slater, now award-winning arranger, later went on to chair the division of jazz studies at the University of North Texas and direct the One O’Clock Lab Band, an internationally-acclaimed university jazz band which, in addition to winning four Grammy nominations, has performed at the White House with Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Slater was responsible for establishing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree program in jazz studies.
Mr. Evans is survived by two daughters, Susan Evans (who is also an 802 member) and Jane E. Latimer, and two grandsons, Jesse and Cory Latimer.
Michael Petrino (Michael Petry)
Michael Petrino (Michael Petry), 73, a saxophonist, trumpeter, pianist, violinist and singer, died on March 7. He had been a member of Local 802 since 1949.
Mr. Petrino led his own orchestra and played in many high-end hotels such as the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Hotel Syracuse, Castle Harbour in Bermuda, Hilton Hotel in New York and many more. He played piano and sang for the last 30 years of his life, bringing memorable songs to people who loved the old standards.
He is survived by his lifelong companion Joan Berzon, sister Catherine, brother Victor and sister-in-law Rosemary.