Vermazen, Bruce | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Vermazen, Bruce

Historical Note: Bruce Vermazen was born in 1940. Vermazen earned his bachelors and masters degrees in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1961 and 1962, respectively. In 1967, he received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University. Soon after, Vermazen became a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. In 1978, he became interested in ragtime and began performing cornet with the Chrysanthemum Ragtime Band. He later served as the band's music director and announcer. In the 1980s, Vermazen began publishing articles on historic ragtime musicians in the San Francisco area including: Jay Roberts, Art Hickman, and the Brown Brothers. In the 1990s, Vermazen began playing cornet with the San Francisco Starlight Orchestra. After retiring in 2000, he published That Moaning Saxophone: The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze. During the early 2000s, Vermazen also became a member of the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble. In 2005, he and Bob Pinsker founded the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, an esemble he still co-leads and performs with to this day. Vermazen currently lives in San Diego with his spouse Juan Miguel Godoy.

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