This is about the production of Star Trek TNG episode "11001001".

Riker fires up a holodeck program to recreate a jazz club. On stage there are 3 musicians. At one point in the episode, he briefly picks up a trombone.

My question(s): were the actors actually musicians? Is the music we hear actually from the performance we see i.e. filmed "live"? And is Jonathan Frakes really playing that trombone?

The thinking behind my question:

Capturing and utilizing the whole performance would create a natural feel and flow to the scene - it does seem as though that is what was done, but appearances can be deceiving.

The musicians could be real musicians, even if the music we hear was recorded separately due to the difficulties of working with "live" sound

The "musicians" could simply be actors and the music was performed by someone else entirely - it's all "movie"(TV) magic.

  • 1
    He certainly plays the trombone; youtube.com/watch?v=oJawn-B6Fms
    – Valorum
    Jul 12, 2016 at 23:54
  • 1
    I can't find a absolute yes or no, but going throughout the series some of the times he plays it is really him and the musicians. Other times it is not. Aparently the way you can tell is by paying attention to how the sound comes across as it shifts noticably when they go from boom mic to studio recording.
    – Durakken
    Jul 13, 2016 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


In the scene where the musicians' hands are visible it is absolutely clear that they are not playing the instruments at all. The drummer's brushes don't touch the snare drum or the cymbal, the pianist does not depress the keys and in a close-up of the bassist's hand, the strings are do not vibrate after supposedly being plucked.

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