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Tuesday, May 31, 2016


(Mario Monteregge)

Much-loved and charismatic Durban trombonist Mario Monteregge died on May 23 at the age of 79. He had battled serious health problems over the last three years and had suffered two strokes and undergone a limb amputation.

Monteregge started his musical training in Northern Italy at the age of six and took theory lessons at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire of Music. He started his musical career in South Africa by playing and singing at various concerts, nightclubs and hotels.

He was a trombonist for the SABC Symphony Orchestra from 1965 to1972, after which he played for various performing arts councils for a number of years, participating in blockbusters such as West Side Story, Sound of Music and Annie. In 1978 he taught brass and conducted the Pinetown Schools Orchestra and the Natal Youth Orchestra before forming his hugely popular Music Unlimited Big Band in 1981.

Well-known for his ever-ready smile and bubbling sense of humour, Monteregge has been a part of the music scene for many years. He is most well-known for heading up Music Unlimited all through the 80’s and 90’s. and will be sorely missed by colleagues and fans alike.