Si Zentner (c. 1965)

Simon Hugh Zentner (June 13, 1917 in New York City, United States – January 31, 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada) was an American trombonist and jazz big-band leader.[1]

Zentner played in the bands of Les Brown, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey in the 1940s, then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician.[1] He also landed a job with MGM from 1949 to the mid-50s, and was involved in the music for films such as Singin' in the Rain and A Star Is Born.[2]

The Zentner band began recording for Liberty Records in 1959, recording numerous successful pop/jazz albums during the 1960s and touring steadily with a large outfit.[2] Zentner was a tireless promoter and claimed to have played 178 consecutive one-night performances when the band was at its peak.[2] His ensemble was voted "Best Big Band" for 13 straight years by Down Beat, and Zentner himself was voted Best Trombonist in Playboy Jazz Readers' Poll.[2] In 1962, his album Up a Lazy River (Big Band Plays the Big Hits, Vol. 2) (arranged by Bob Florence) won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.[3]

Zentner's success was thoroughly unusual; he had a thriving big band going at a time when big band music was, for the most part, on the wane.[1] He suffered from leukemia late in life, though he continued performing into 1999; he died of the disease in early 2000.[2]


  • Sleepy Lagoon (Liberty, 1957)
  • Introducing Si Zentner and His Dance Band (Bel Canto, 1958)
  • High Noon Cha Cha Cha (Bel Canto, 1959)
  • A Thinking Man's Band (Liberty, 1959)
  • Swing Fever (Bel Canto, 1959)
  • Suddenly It's Swing (Liberty, 1960)
  • The Swingin' Eye (Liberty, 1960)
  • Great Band with Great Voices (Liberty, 1961)
  • Big Band Plays the Big Hits (Liberty, 1961) U.S. No. 65[4]
  • Great Band with Great Voices...Swing the Great Voices of the Great Bands (Liberty, 1961)
  • Presenting Si Zentner (Smash, 1961)
  • Exotica Suite (Liberty, 1962)
  • In Person (International Award Series, 1962)
  • The Stripper and Other Big Band Hits (Liberty, 1962) U.S. No. 108[4]
  • Si and His Orchestra Play Desafinado (Liberty, 1962) U.S. No. 139[4]
  • Up a Lazy River (Big Band Plays the Hits, Vol. 2) (Liberty, 1962) U.S. No. 107[4]\
  • Waltz in Jazz Time (Liberty, 1963)
  • Rhythm Plus Blues (Liberty, 1963)
  • More (Liberty, 1963)
  • Music That's Going Places (Liberty, 1963)
  • From Russia with Love (Liberty, 1964)
  • Si Zentner Plays the Big Band Hits (Liberty, 1964)
  • Bond's 007 Theme (Liberty, 1964)
  • Si Zentner in Full Swing! (Liberty, 1965)
  • My Cup of Tea (RCA Victor, 1965)
  • It's Nice to Go Trav'ling (RCA Victor, 1965)
  • Put Your Head On My Shoulder (RCA Victor, 1966)
  • A Perfect Blend (Liberty, 1966)
  • Swingin' Country (Liberty, 1966)
  • Warning Shot (Liberty, 1967)
  • Right Here! Right Now! The Big Mod Sound Of (Liberty, 1967)
  • The Wonderful Sound (Liberty, 1969)
  • Great Band Sounds of Si Zentner (United Artists, 1975)


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 515. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Si Zentner | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Si Zentner | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Billboard,