James Pankow

As the trombonist and a founding member of the rock group Chicago, James Pankow has influenced countless trombonists through his high-profile performances and legendary solos that created a forum in popular music for the trombone. His versatility goes well beyond his trombone playing. In addition to composing top hits such as “Make Me Smile,” “Colour My World,” “Searchin’ So Long,” “Old Days,” and “Just You ‘N’ Me,” he also wrote most of Chicago’s brass arrangements over the years, which are a big part of the Chicago signature. James’ brass writing and trombone playing can also be heard on other artist’s records. They include several albums with the rock band Toto (including the Grammy Award winning “Rosanna”), Elton John, The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, and Three Dog Night, among others. Along with the other Chicago horns, James recorded with Earth, Wind and Fire and Three Dog Night, among others. He was the subject of a January 2004 feature article in the ITA Journal by Steve Wiest called, “The Sound of Success: James Pankow.”