A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Ken Crane

Instructor of Trombone; Director of Jazz Activities

Before his move to Western NY in 1993, Ken Crane worked as a professional musician in New York City. He worked with some of the biggest names in jazz as a trombone soloist, lead trombone, jazz tuba player, arranger, composer and record producer.  Most notably, Ken spent several years of his life touring and recording with Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra and Clark Terry.  Since his move upstate, Ken has worked as a music teacher at Little Valley Central School, Salamanca City Schools, Olean City Schools and Portville Central School (currently). He has also completed most of a doctorate in Jazz Studies at the Eastman School of Music.  While affiliated with Eastman, Ken taught in the Trombone department, Jazz Studies department and Community Schools division.  Ken has also worked as a clinician/jazz soloist at high school jazz festivals such as the Allegheny All County Jazz Band, Chautauqua All County Jazz Band, Bath HS Jazz Festival and Eastman HS Summer Jazz Camp. Ken earned his B. Mus from Nyack College and M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Artists with whom Ken Crane has performed:

  • 1982 - Frank Sinatra
    Played trombone for extended Carnegie Hall engagement; also recorded a cable television special from Santa Domingo: “Concert for the Americas”, Showtime, 1982.
  • 1982 - Buddy Rich Big Band
    Played trombone (featured jazz soloist) for 8 months of international touring.  Also worked as arranger/composer.  Featured on various videotapes now being sold of the 1982 band in Montreal.
  • 1981 - The Clark Terry Big Band
    Played trombone (lead and jazz soloist) for extensive European and U.S. touring.
  • 1980 - Maynard Ferguson
    Played lead trombone and tuba, featured jazz soloist for extensive European and U.S. touring.  Arranged “The Hit Medley” and several originals for the band.  Played on the recording, “It’s My Time”, Columbia Records, 1980.  Also played on the Forum Home Video, “Maynard Ferguson”, released in 1990.

Other short-term engagements:

  • The Crane Quintet (2006)
  • Southern Tier Swing  (2000-2005 concert seasons)
  • Chautauqua Symphony (various performances, 1997-present)
  • Al Martino (2003 and 2004)
  • Byron Stripling (2004, Erie, PA)
  • Bobby Vinton (2004, Chautauqua)
  • Frank Sinatra, Jr.  (2003 and 2004)
  • Manhattan Transfer (2003, Bradford, PA)
  • Wayne Newton  (2003, Chautauqua)
  • Peter Nero (2003, Buffalo Philharmonic)
  • Chautauqua Opera Orchestra, Don Giovanni (2003)
  • Bemus Bay Pops (1999-present)
  • Natalie Cole (1999 - Chautauqua Institute)
  • Johnny Mathes (1998 - Chautauqua Institute)
  • Bluzein and Chameleon (1997-2000 - Jamestown, NY; recorded on “Live at the Stone”)
  • Dixie on the Deck (1996-1998 Dixieland Band in Bemus Point)
  • Big Band Revival Orchestra (1995-1998, Cattaraugus County)
  • The Ba Ba Lou Band (1997-1998, Jamestown, NY)
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. (1984 - New York City)
  • Howard Jones, “One to One” (1986), Electra Records - New York City)
  • Howard Johnson & Gravity (Jazz tuba ensemble - New York City)
  • Howard McGee (1981 - Kool Jazz Festival, New York City)
  • Mel Louis Big Band (1981,Village Vanguard - New York City)
  • Nancy Wilson (1982 - Atlantic City)
  • Mel Torme (1982 - several international festivals)
  • Slide Hampton and the World of Trombones (1981 NPR Broadcast)

Courses: Houghton Jazz, Jazz Combo, Studio Trombone