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While still at the conservatory in 1968, I received a telephone call at home one evening from one of the bass students at Northwestern University, asking me had I ever played "Jazz" music. I told him yes and he asked me if I would be willing to perform with the Wright College Jazz Band at the Notre Dame College Jazz Festival. I had never played with this band before and I thought that it could be a nice experience.

1995 Ray Brown. I rehearsed once with the
band and we went to South Bend, Indiana the next day.
I must say that I did not expect what I saw. There were bands from all parts of America at the festival. The judges that year were Oliver Nelson, Gerald Wilson, Charlie Mariano and
Ray Brown. The University of Illinois had a wonderful band that included Cecil Bridgewater and was directed by Mr. John Garvey. Unfortunately there was not a winner in the small group category that year.