Arts & Entertainment

Uan Rasey, influential jazz trumpeter, dies at 90

A jazz musician plays the trumpet.
A jazz musician plays the trumpet.
Eric Perrone/ Wikimedia Commons

Influential jazz trumpeter Uan Rasey died earlier this week. The former first trumpeter of the MGM studio orchestra was 90 years old.

You may not know his name, but if you’re a fan of classic movie musicals you’ve heard Uan Rasey's brass song.
His horn graced the soundtracks of “An American in Paris,” “Gigi” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Last September, KPCC’s Larry Mantle asked Rasey how playing for Hollywood films back in the day differs from movie musicians’ work now.

I think the orchestra was much closer, we enjoyed each other, had a passion to play," he said. "Nowadays, there’s such a little bit of music, people aren’t as friendly, as close as we were years ago, at least I hear that…We enjoyed it, had a real passion for it, and worked a lot of places. There was a lot more movie work.”

In Rasey's case the work spanned decades, including everything from a weekly NBC radio gig with a high school orchestra to the score of the film “Chinatown” and beyond.