Acclaimed Physician Delights in His First Passion

August 4, 2018

By Bella English Tuba in hand, acclaimed physician delights in his first passion On a recent night, Scullers Jazz Club in Cambridge was packed with nationally renowned experts on trauma and child abuse, former Peace Corps volunteers in West Africa, and book group buddies. They were all there to honor Dr. Eli Newberger, who sat in perhaps his favorite spot on earth: on stage, cradling his beloved tuba. Newberger, who is both a nationally renowned child abuse expert and a fixture on Boston’s music scene, was turning 75 on Dec. 26. Scullers had to add a 10 p.m. show, after an earlier session, to accommodate fans of his medicine and his music. “This is a birthday party of music,” he told the enthusiastic crowd before his group, Eli & the Hot Six, launched into an all-Gershwin gig. As he kicked off “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” he told the crowd: “The amygdala in the brain is the center for our cessation of stress. It sets off a cascade of hormones and messages. This is also where music enters our brain.” Read Full Boston Globe...

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Eli Newberger: Tuba Virtuoso

September 13, 2015

By Andy Senior Jazz tuba virtuoso Dr. Eli Newberger experienced his jazz epiphany in the sixth grade when the excellent Davis Dixie Band (of A.B. Davis High School in Mount Vernon, New York) played at his elementary school. Shortly thereafter, the school band director placed the tuba in his hands – with the ulterior motive of developing talent for the Davis High School football band. (“You don’t find the tuba, the tuba finds you,” says Eli.) See Video While in the eighth grade, Eli heard Louis Armstrong and his All Stars at a benefit concert, and his love of jazz was confirmed. He went on to play with the Davis Dixie Band, whose well-rehearsed heat and precision may be seen in the above 1960 clip from the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. Eli’s brother Henry led on trombone by that time, but Eli rejoined as an alumnus of the group for the contest. The young band plays with fiery snap. Eli loved the tuba, but his father (mindful of his own travails during the Depression) insisted he study organ “because you’ll always have work.” Eli studied organ, along with the required courses of piano and theory at Juilliard (continuing...

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