Technique rather than solo brilliance has been the hallmark of traditional jazz player and educator Rusty Dedrick. Dedrick studied to become a teacher at Fredonia College, and was tutored by composers Paul Ceston and Stefan Wolpe. He worked with clarinetist and saxophonist Dick Stabile in 1938 and 1939 before joining Red Norvo. He spent two years in Norvo's band, then performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill twice, from 1941 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1947. Dedrick had a brief stint with Ray McKinley in 1946. During the '50s and '60s, he served as a freelance arranger, composer, and trumpeter in New York City studios. He wrote music for Don Elliott, Maxine Sullivan, and Lee Wiley among others, and played with Urbie Green and Lionel Hampton. Dedrick joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in 1971 and eventually became its director of jazz studies. He's since written books on jazz education.
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