Home Customer Endorsements Trombone - Bill Tole - Trombonist and Leader of Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
Trombone - Bill Tole - Trombonist and Leader of Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra Print E-mail


Bill Tole

My new Warburton 11M-T4 is the perfect mouthpiece for me for playing long phrases on ballads. As leader of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra I have to play some of the solos that Tommy Dorsey used to play when they were the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. The comfortable rim, the quick response and ease of articulation makes every register just sing out. I have searched for a long time to find this perfect mouthpiece.

Bill Tole - Leader of Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra



Born in Pittsburgh, PA., Bill Tole comes from a musical family. His father was a high school band director and worked as a sales representative for Selmer and King musical corporations for many years and active as a professional trombonist and pianist. His mother also played the piano, and for performed as a vocalist and accompanist for master chorales in Western Pennsylvania. Until retirement, she was a music teacher for children with special needs. His parents both were a tremendous influence on Bill developing an appreciation and love for the art.

Wishing to pursue a career as a musician, Bill attended Duquesne University School of Music. After four years of college he auditioned for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and went on tour with that band. He later joined the US Air Force dance band, the “Airmen of Note”, which is a continuation of the Army Air Force “Glenn Miller Orchestra”. Tole was solo trombonist with the “Airmen of Note”.

With Bill’s expertise and qualifications he quickly became a much sought after musician. He moved to New York City in the 60’s and played many of the top Broadway shows, headliner artists, club dates and also was very busy playing on recordings during the prime of New York City studio days. However, a change in the studio scene relocated Bill to Los Angeles in 1967 where he continued recording on albums, commercials, television and movies.

Bill’s career took a different turn when a producer put out a casting call for a trombonist to portray Tommy Dorsey in a film starring Liza Minelli and Robert DeNiro. In Bill Tole they not only found a professional trombone player, who understood the musical era, who had a big band of his own for the movie, but also could play as sweet as Dorsey. Tole had the musical credentials to land the part, and looked just like that “sentimental gentleman” in the 1977 release NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

Upon completion of the film, Bill Tole recorded his own version of the movie sound track, entitled “Music from New York, New York” for Calliope Records. The 90’s brought a new recording contract with Courtney Records and two new recordings on compact disc and cassette “Big Band On the Move” and “Big Band Memories”. The Bill Tole Orchestra is also featured on “The Modernaires Now” CD and with the Pied Pipers on their new CD, “Dream”.

Bill has performed with many of the great stars in the music business. Some of the big band leaders he has played with include; Ray Anthony, Tex Beneke, Louis Bellson, Les Brown, Bob Crosby, Harry James, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle, Si Zentner. (From A to Z). He has recorded albums with great singing stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, Pearl Bailey, and many recordings and television specials with Frank Sinatra.

He was trombone instructor on the faculty at Vanguard University in Southern California until he moved to Arizona and is very much in demand as a soloist and lecturer throughout the United States. He has also taught master classes in Great Britain and Europe and has performed as a soloist in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Bill is currently an artist/clinician for Getzen Musical Instrument Co. and plays a 3508Y Custom Trombone.