Gary Slechta has been a free-lance trumpet player, arranger, orchestrator, and music publisher in Austin, Texas since 1982. In addition to the Riverbend Brass Quintet (whose music and CD are published by Shawnee Press), he is a member of the Austin Symphony, the Austin Ballet, the Capital of Texas Brass Quintet, the Texas Horns, and various jazz and salsa bands. He is active in the recording studios and is heard on many regional and national radio and television jingles, and has performed on “Austin City Limits” numerous times. His arrangements are in the catalogs of six publishers, including Shawnee Press.
From symphonies to salsa, Slechta scores music in all styles for groups of all abilities and sizes. Recently he completed symphonic orchestrations for the Sony/Miramax film “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” scheduled for a September 2003 release. The orchestrations were recorded by members of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Gary has played trumpet on over fifty albums and sound tracks, and has served as arranger on several, including Shawnee Press’s “Down By the Riverside.”
He holds music degrees from two Iowa institutions: Morningside College in Sioux City, and Drake University in Des Moines. Following eight years of directing bands in the public schools, he taught bands, trumpet, and conducting at Morningside College from 1971-1982. During his tenure at Morningside he founded and hosted the Tri-State Jazz Festival, which was destined to become the largest in the mid-west. He was elected to the Iowa Jazz Educators Hall of Fame in April of 2002.
Gary has two grown children, four grandkids, and a lovely wife, Anne, who owns her own music copying service in Austin. Free time is spent playing tennis and boating on nearby Lake Travis.