Max Engeman, one of the last links to Salt Lake City's Big Band heyday, has died at age 85.
Engeman was a banker and a real estate broker who enjoyed sharing his love of music. He and his band performed for more than 35 years, often at the Terrace Ballroom, home to many who loved to dance and listen to Big Band music."He played the right music for the right people to dance to," said fellow band leader Eugene Jelesnik. "They loved him. On those occasions when I would go to the Terrace Ballroom, it was always a pleasure to watch his band."
Engeman, who changed his name to "Engman" when he played music, was an executive vice president for First Security State Bank.
Engeman won the Utah state high school music tournament three straight times. He earned spending money in high school by playing trumpet. Later, he performed in Salt Lake City's greatest ballrooms, including the Coconut Grove, Saltair, the Granada and the Blue Bird.
Engeman was also a veteran of the vaudeville circuit as part of San Francisco's Jay Brower band. He last led the band at the Terrace in 1980.
"In the early days, parents would bring their children to dances," Engeman said in 1992. "And those children would come back as adults. We had several generations of dancers and a lot of marriages out of that dance hall."
Engeman died Sunday. A funeral was scheduled Thursday at the Wasatch Lawn Mortuary Chapel, 3401 S. Highland Drive.