A lunch with some of my NYC bass clarinet buddies in the Bronx, Fall 2015: (L-R) Ed, Brian Hysong, Dennis Smylie & Jim Ognibene.
Dennis was the premiere free-lance bass clarinetist in NYC for decades, beloved by all. He was very helpful to me as a friend and mentor throughout my career and his love for the bass clarinet was infectious. Tragically, he has since passed away. Bryan and Jim are recently retired from their jobs as bass clarinetists at the New York City Ballet Orchestra (Bryan) and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Jim). All three of my colleagues represented the crème de la crème of bass clarinet artistry as well as fine gentlemen.
NOTE: Jim Ognibene passed away today, 8/11/20, after suffering for many years with prostate cancer. A magnificent player and colleague, we are all deeply saddened by his passing. RIP Jim.