With today’s official announcement that Max Weinberg will not join the band for Conan O’Brien’s new show (band guitarist Jimmy Vivino first disclosed it last week in an interview with the Riverfront Times), I was curious about the status of Mark Pender, the former Kansas City resident who played trumpet for 17 years on O’Brien’s NBC shows.
I contacted Pender by email this afternoon, and he confirmed that he will be in the band when the show debuts on Nov. 8.
“I hate to jinx it but so far so good. I’m excited to be back with my guys. Jimmy’s an amazing person and musician. And I can’t say enough about the other cats, and Conan and his unbelievable staff. They are indeed like family.”
Pender grew up in the Kansas City area and graduated from Grandview (Mo.) High School, located in the south part of the metro, in the mid-1970s. He played in funk, jazz and fusion bands before relocating to the New York/New Jersey area. He then became part of the music community surrounding Bruce Springsteen, touring with Springsteen, and recording and performing with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
In addition to his work in the O’Brien band, Pender also leads his own band and is active as a session musician.
Jimmy Vivino: Web Site