Fletcher Norris plays the stand up acoustic bass for Artistry In Jazz, but started out with the trumpet, in grade school, in west Tennessee, 60 miles from Memphis.
“It was just there to be played,” Fletcher says, “I thought I was going to start out on bugle. ”
He started playing in the 7th grade, continued through college at Vanderbilt, and played in a band, in the Army, in Germany.
“After the Army was over, I put my instrument down and walked away. I retired from teaching at UNCW. One of my friends had a bass and he died and his wife didn’t know what to do with it, so I took it, and took some lessons.”
“My wife plays piano and accordion, she and I have played some, duets. My son is a professional tuba player. He went to Boston University and majored in tuba, and won his first interview. His son plays bass, bass guitar.
Dr Peter Zack – “I was a piano player in grade school, for a couple of years. It was my momma, she said everybody plays the piano.”
There was only one music teacher in town, and she taught piano, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He played for a couple of years, but not for the school, “I don’t think the school had a piano.”
“As I got closer to high school, I thought I needed something noisy, a trumpet. I went to my teacher, and she said ‘We don’t have any music stores here, so I’ll order one.””
When it came, he said, they put it together and his parents said “Go play it” and he put it to my lips and blew, but it didn’t make any noise, so they sent it back and got another one, and it didn’t either, but then he found some instructions and learned how to get started.
“I still have this one, now, and my wife told me when I finally learn to play it I can get another one.” His wife plays violin and piano, in the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
“She started it,” he said. when they moved here in ’70.