Name: Ferguson, Maynard

Historical Note: Walter Maynard Ferguson was born on May 4, 1928 in Verdun, an arrondissement of Montreal, Canada. His mother was a violinist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and and he and his brother Percy showed early musical aptitude. Maynard was a featured trumpet soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) orchestra before he entered high school, and studied trumpet with Bernard Baker at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal. Still in his teens, he took over as bandleader in his brother Percy's band, and in 1948 moved to the United States. In the U.S., he played for the bands led by Charlie Barnet, Boyd Raeburn, and Stan Kenton; he worked as a studio musician for Paramount, appearing on the soundtrack for The Ten Commandments, among many other titles. Ferguson's career as a bandleader flourished after leaving Paramount, notably with the Birdland Dream Band. In the 1960s, Ferguson lived on the Millbrook, New York estate of Timothy Leary, and eventually relocated to the United Kingdom, Barcelona, and India in association with the Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. He returned to New York in 1973, and moved to Ojai, Califormia in 1975, achieving major commercial success with "Gonna Fly Now," and continuing with a series of touring bands, including Big Bop Nouveau band. A multi-instrumentalist in addition to his virtuosity on trumpet, he also played valve trombone and baritone horn among others, including the specialized Firebird and Superbone instruments. Ferguson died on August 23, 2006, in Ventura, California.

Biography, Maynard, viewed September 15, 2020

B. Kimberly Taylor, "Ferguson, Maynard" at

Tim Weiner, "Maynard Ferguson, 78, Trumpeter and Bandleader, Dies," New York Times, August 25, 2006

Wikipedia entry on Maynard Ferguson, viewed September 15, 2020

Note Author: Maristella Feustle

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Ferguson, Maynard

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