The world is full of trombonists who are doing wonderful things to promote the instrument. Yet, however successfully all the CD recordings and live concerts increase the profile of the trombone, they just don’t pack the same punch as the television in reaching the masses.
Considering this, special mention must be given to that high-flying ambassador of the trombone, Commander William T. Riker of the Starship Enterprise. Who has not seen at least one of the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which Riker dusts off his trombone, gives the swagger a rest, and bares his soul?
Jonathan Frakes, the actor behind the character, does actually play the trombone, reportedly having played it in the marching band while attending university – he is even credited with performing on the twenty-second song “Riker’s Mailbox” on the 1994 Phish CD, Hoist.
Who could resist such a heartfelt show of emotion?
C’mon Deanna, can’t you sense he has feelings for you?!
Riker’s clone, Lt. Thomas Riker, gets in on the action too. In 2369, Will gives his trombone to Tom as a memento (Season 6, Episode 24: “Second Chances”). And check this out: you can even buy a collectible action figure of Tom Riker – complete with trombone! It’s comforting to know that the trombone will still be around 360 years from now. I wonder if they’ll be able to replicate the really good ones!
“A frisky spirit makes my trombone sing.” – Chris Barber