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Local Realtor Toot His Own Horn, Literally

Morro Bay resident Bob Bennet is a mild mannered real estate agent by day and a world-class trumpeter at night. For 27 years Bennet worked as a horn for hire in Los Angeles. He now works at Horizon Real Estate and Property Management and continues his musical career at night as well as serves as director of the Cuesta College Jazz Orchestra.
“You can’t make a living playing trumpet if you’re not in the big cities,” Bennet said. “My main focus is my real estate business. It has to be.”
Bennet earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach and has toured as far as Japan playing brass. He was also invited to participate in a contest hosted by the International Trumpet Guild. Though he was runner-up, Bennet had the opportunity to play in one of the most famous jazz venues in the world; Ronnie Scott’s in London.
For years, he played the trumpet at Disneyland.
“We worked during the day and then we would play gigs at night,” said Bennet. “I was really lucky; there are fewer opportunities for my students at Cuesta to find a way to make a living.”

Bennet attributes some of the decline in the demand for musicians to the wide variety of synthetic music available.
“I was in the Woody Herman Band, which was probably my favorite,” said Bennet. Woody Herman is a well-known figure in the jazz and big band arenas.
Bennet also performed with Brain Setzer of the Stray Cats, a rockabilly band that brought swing dancing back in the national spotlight in the 80s and 90s. Bennet played with the rock star in a big band format and traveled around in one of the three buses.
“We would play a job and the bus would leave at 2 a.m. to go to the next town,” said Bennet. He toured across the nation and went to Japan twice while he was with the band.
Eventually, family and his love for Morro Bay brought him back home. Bennet is a music director at Cuesta and teaches students on the side when he is not helping people buy and sell homes.
“I’m the director of the Cuesta College Jazz Orchestra, aka the Monday Night Band,” said Bennet. “The band has been going since the 70’s.” Warren Balfour founded the Monday Night Band. Originally, it was called the Wednesday Night Band.
“I’m also in a group called the Dave Becker All-Stars which is a jazz quartet with, pretty much, the finest jazz players in this area.” The band consists of Dave Becker, a multi-reed player who teaches music at Alan Hancock College, Cuesta College, and Cal Poly; Marshall Otwell, who played piano for Carmen McRae for 10 years; Dylan Johnson and Darrell Voss, bass and drums respectively, who both teach at Cuesta College and are well known throughout the central coast musical circles.
One of Bennet’s favorite venues to perform on the Central Coast is at D’Anbino Winery’s tasting room in Paso Robles. Dave Becker All-Star will be playing there on April 28.
You can also catch Bennet along with Burning James and the Funky Flames at the 5th Annual Mardi Gras Par-Tay on February 25 at the Kind David SLO Masonic Lodge. Proceeds from the event with go to KCBX FM.
For all your real estate needs, call Bennet at (805) 202-6390.
By Mark A. Diaz

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