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James Szantor

Profile Updated: November 12, 2022
Residing In:
Milwaukee (as of 7-9-2018), WI USA
Author, blogger, musician, standup comic
Stacy, born 1971; Sarah, born 1976. Grandchildren: Danielle, born 1994; Allyssa, born 1997; Evelyn More…Grace, born 2008; Elyse, born 2011; step-grandson Tommy, born 1998.
Military Service:
Air Force  

It's quite a day-brightener when you open a magazine and find a story about . . . yourself! (See link below.) I had contributed a piece to this music magazine (The Note) and was told they would include "a little biographical blurb" about me. If this is their idea of a little biographical blurb, I'd love to see what a cover piece would look like. The piece I wrote dates back to early 1972, so sometimes it pays to hold on to things.
Background: The piece, "The Willie Maiden I Knew," was about a genius of a saxophonist/composer/arranger well known in jazz circles as the closest associate of superstar trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. It was for a book I was planning on MF that never materialized (we had a falling out but later mended fences). I later wrote a book on a Maynard disciple/protege, trumpeter Bill Chase, to which Maynard himself graciously contributed some valuable material. That was a huge point of pride, as well as was having Clark Terry (another Mt. Rushmore trumpet player and an early mentor of Miles Davis) write the introduction for me. Unfortunately, you won't find the book on any best-seller lists, but the experience was quite memorable.


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James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for Lance Tobert.
Mar 24, 2024 at 4:05 PM

I memory serves, Lance was drafted as a pitcher by the San Francisco Giants organization but not long after suffered a crippling arm injury.  If it was the elbow, he suffered the same fate as many others; that is, their injury predated by about a decade the sea-change procedure known as Tommy John surgery.  Had that surgery been available to Lance, he could have gone on to be a Hall of Famer--he certainly had the talent. 

In fact, Dick Bosman, considered to be the second best pitcher on the Red Devils team, led the American League in earned run average in 1969 and pitched a no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians in 1974 against the Oakland Athletics, then a powerhouse force in the American League.  One can easily imagine Lance experiencing similar success. I hope he overcame that unfortunate setback and had a great life in whatever endeavors he pursued.  R.I.P., Mr. Tobert.

James Szantor has a birthday today.
Mar 17, 2024 at 4:33 AM
James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for Veronica Szeliga.
Nov 08, 2023 at 10:29 AM

I knew Veronica before Bradford. as we had both played clarinet in the CYO Band, along with her brother, Mike.  She was a treasured member of both, and it is heartening to read about the exemplary life that she led.

James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Oct 25, 2023 at 6:05 PM

Band members will remember this: When we went to Washington and New York in the summer of 1959, we actually had to share a suitcase with another band member (apparently so all the band equipment and personal luggage would fit on the bus (or buses; there may have been two, given the size of the band, color guard, chaperones, etc.).  Many funny stories and other details about that trip have been lost in the mists of time, but I was lucky enough to draw John as my suitcase mate, and I couldn't have had a more amiable, accommodating partner.  He was a fine musician and, I'm sure, a credit to whatever organization to which he lent his talents and congenial personna.  R.I.P., John.  

James Szantor updated his profile. View.
Oct 24, 2023 at 8:23 PM
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Jul 13, 2023 at 4:31 AM
James Szantor posted a message. New comment added.
May 14, 2023 at 9:15 PM

Posted on: May 11, 2023 at 4:45 AM

I've just been notified that there seems to be moss growing on my profile, so herewith this update:
Once in a great while the mail contains more than bills and advertising, such as on the day last October when I received the Fall issue of The Note, a great publication out of the music department of East Stroudsburg University in Pa., a private school with many elite jazz musicians on its faculty. It contained an interview piece the editors requested, one I had done long ago with a genius of a jazz composer/arranger/saxophonist (Willie Maiden) who was Maynard Ferguson’s right hand and confidante for many years and later a key figure in Stan Kenton's resurgence in the early 1970s.

I was told they were going to run a “short biographical blurb” about me, so imagine my shock when I opened the magazine to Page 7 and saw a full-page piece titled “The Multi-Faceted Jim Szantor.” I’m still reeling from that (and hope they didn’t mean “two-faced.”)

Here is the link:

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Aug 20, 2022 at 8:15 AM
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Jul 17, 2022 at 7:51 AM
James Szantor has a birthday today.
Mar 17, 2022 at 4:33 AM
James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Mar 13, 2022 at 11:03 AM

I hear you, but I see his name listed in Classmate Profiles, and many of those reminiscences predated our actual Bradford graduation day. 


James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Mar 13, 2022 at 9:25 AM

Please don’t misconstrue this as a criticism in any way, but how strange and ironic in this day of instant and incessant communication that we’re just learning of Skip’s passing nearly six months after the fact.  I guess it’s a two-sided coin:  We’re proud that so many of our classmates drifted away and succeeded in far-flung locales as they—to trot out an old saying—went out to seek their fortunes.  But at the same time that success and those subsequent adventures removed them from our radar screens and--naturally so--as we immersed ourselves in our own lives, families and careers.  We had, after all, a class of 600-plus, and that, alas, leaves only so much time for keeping track of people like Skip and others whose journeys escaped into, as a poet once said, into the mists of time.  But even with the belated and unfortunate news, the vivid and loving memories laid out here by Chuck, Tom, Cecil, Nancy, Suzette, Mary and Cherie more than compensate for the time lag and bring not only his life but those precious “Wonder Years” days back into the sunny side of our memory banks.  R.I.P., Skip.  (I wonder if anyone ever called him “Stoddard” and lived to tell the tale.)

James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Oct 26, 2021 at 1:47 AM

This unprecedented outpouring of heartfelt tributes is testament to the impact and imprint Buzz made on our lives. I had the good fortune of having him as a commuting buddy to UWM, and I'll always treasure those memories--of those train rides and long waits for buses in Milwaukee in which we would discuss not only the minutiae of our days but our hopes and dreams for the future. A mighty oak has fallen, and we all stand on more barren ground as a result. I offer my condolences, Suzette, as well as my prayers for the best possible future without your exemplary partner.

James Szantor added a comment on his Profile.
Oct 17, 2021 at 7:33 AM
James Szantor posted a message.
Jul 17, 2021 at 2:21 PM

HB, DD! Hope you have a great day!

James Szantor added a comment on his Profile.
Jul 05, 2021 at 8:39 AM
Jul 03, 2021 at 5:44 AM

Happy Birthday, Mary! And remember to just burn the candles at one end!

James Szantor has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Jul 02, 2021 at 8:47 AM

I knew John from 1st Grade at St. Mark's all the way through high school. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he had been in my kindergarten class at Lincoln Elementary, but that memory has been lost in the mists of time.  He was the personification of a hard-working model citizen and one of the nicest guys I've ever known.  My condolences to his family and many friends.  

James Szantor added a comment on his Profile.
Jun 18, 2021 at 8:03 PM
Henry Hartnek posted a message on James Szantor's Profile. New comment added.
Mar 18, 2021 at 3:52 PM

Posted on: Mar 18, 2021 at 1:13 AM

Jim, Happy Birthday. Hope you had a great day. Stay safe.

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James Szantor