Pride of the Pine Belt: A "Triple Play" of talent

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - On Saturday, March 26th, three of the country's jazz talents are getting together on one stage to perform with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra in a concert called Triple Play. It's being held at Hattiesburg's Saenger Theater.

The musicians, Tom Brantley, Steve Wiest and Tom "Bones" Malone are all graduates of the university and have blazed successful careers through their amazing trombone skills. In addition to graduating from Southern Miss, all three men also received their graduate degrees from what is now called the University of North Texas.

Both Steve Wiest and Tom Brantley said they always admired Tom Malone's career, which includes film credits like the "Blues Brothers," and being the former musical director for the Saturday Night Live Band.

Steve Wiest explained, "And I remember playing solos and I'd think oh I really nailed that one, that sounded good and someone would come up and say yeah but Tom Malone could do that on bari sax and flute, can you do that? And I'd be like ahhh!"

Tom Malone, a Sumrall Mississippi native, is now a member of the CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman.

According to Malone, "Dave will say something and Paul will just start playing a song and we just jump in. And we have to figure out what song it is and what key it's in. So it's a very demanding job, it's not particularly relaxed."

Meanwhile Steve Wiest, who grew up in Hattiesburg and Tom Brantley, who is originally from South Louisiana, have forged successful careers as musical educators. On Saturday night, the Saenger Theater crowd will hear the musical trio play a variety of popular music.

"It's a dream come true to get to play with these guys. Just fantastic and they are such incredible human beings so it's really a pleasure," said Tom Brantley.

The concert gets underway at 7:30 PM at the Saenger Theater on March 26th.

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