John Wasson’s Strata Big Band, John Wasson’s CoolBrass Jazztet, Michael Waldrop Big Band, Freelance Artist
Instrument: 1240L Bass Trombone
XO Artist Since: 2017
Music Genre(s): Studio/Session, Worship, Fusion, Jazz, Funk, Blues, Classical
Favorite Venue(s): The Blue Note, Montreux Jazz Festival
Who are your strongest influences?: George Roberts, Charles Vernon, Bill Reichenbach
John Wasson is an award-winning composer, arranger, performer and conductor whose works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Gatlin Brothrs, Tim McGraw, the U. S. Air Force Band and Airmen of Note, and the Carolina Crown Drum Corps. He has worked with many notable artists including Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Michael Bolton, Reba McIntyre, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mel Torme, Joel Gray, Liza Minelli and Bob Hope.
Born in 1956 and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, John studied at the renowned University of North Texas where he earned degrees in Music Theory and Trombone Performance. While at UNT he played for 3 seasons in the acclaimed One o’clock Lab Band, touring throughout the United States and Europe and appearing on four recordings. He also toured briefly with the Stan Kenton Orchestra during his college years, and later with Woody Herman. For over 30 years he has been associated with the Dallas Brass both as a charter performing member and as primary composer/arranger of many works in their extensive repertoire.
John has held the position of staff arranger for the Dallas Cowboys stadium band; he also worked as a staff arranger for Buffalo Sound Productions in Ft. Worth, where he contributed music to national ad campaigns including Radio Shack, Stop N Go, Kern’s Nectars, and many others. John also formed a production company with his wife Gail, and together they have created film and television soundtracks for Electronic Data Systems, the Salvation Army and Zola Levitt Ministries.
John has written and produced the music for a variety of well-known clients such as National Geographic, the United Way, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, the World Affairs Council DFW, the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, and the Doak Walker Awards.
He is also a prolific contributor to the catalogs of several music publishers, including Hal Leonard, C. L. Barnhouse, Warner Brothers, Alfred Music, and Praise Charts. His works appear on many recordings by various professional and educational groups around the world.
As a low-brass performer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Wasson performs with his own CoolBrass Jazztet and his Strata Big Band. He currently holds the position of Worship Director at a local church in the Dallas area, and continues to create music for various sacred music settings. Wasson is a member of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), the Jazz Educators Network, and the International Trombone Association.