LAAC Brown Bag Show Features Black Mesa Quintet Dec. 1

Black Mesa Brass Quintet will perform at noon Wednesday, Dec. 1 at Fuller Lodge. Courtesy/LAAC

LAAC News:

The Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC) presents Black Mesa Brass Quintet at noon Wednesday, Dec. 1 at Fuller Lodge. The performance is part of the Arts Council’s Brown Bag Show series.

The Black Mesa Brass Quintet was formed in 1990. Their repertoire includes classical, modern, pop, and jazz tunes. They play a variety of venues, including concerts, educational performances at schools, weddings and other special occasions. Their collective musical experience is on the order of 250 years.

Its members include Jan McDonald, Jerry Morzinski, Dr. Bruce Letellier, Bruce Warren and Jeremy Best.

McDonald has been a mainstay of the Los Alamos music scene for decades. He is recognized nationally as an accomplished trumpet player and educator. He performs with many professional groups in New Mexico, and is the recipient of the Outstanding Secondary Educator Award and the Outstanding New Mexico Jazz Educator Award.

Morzinski ended his 20-year Navy pilot career with a tour at Annapolis, where he played with Navy musicians from the Washington, D.C. area in large- and small-group ensembles. He organizes brass ensembles, arranges music, and directs the adult choir at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos.

Letellier earned degrees in nuclear engineering from Kansas State University before moving to Los Alamos. An avid volunteer with the high school drama department, he performs regularly with numerous ensembles in northern New Mexico.

Warren moved to Los Alamos in 2000, after a career teaching physics and math and then photography. He spent much of his time at the University of Denver playing in the Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and other groups. After decades of not playing, he picked up the trombone again in 2008 and enjoys playing with several musical groups in the Los Alamos area.

Best started playing the horn professionally in 1996 with the Marine Corps Band. He played occasionally for the next 16 years while completing his Marine Corps career. Best picked up music more actively after retirement and moving to Los Alamos. He plays with numerous groups and is the newest member of the quintet.