Lose yourself for a while in this video where these two great trumpet players, from different genres, share pointers and shoot the breeze.
While it’s clear that both the trumpet and saxophone have been integral to jazz music’s development, the former instrument has arguably been the more important of the two. That’s because in jazz, all roads lead back to one man – Louis Armstrong. Not only one of the best jazz trumpeters of all time, Armstrong was one of the greatest musical improvisers ever and his innovations helped jazz to evolve into what it is today. As Miles Davis once said: “You can’t play nothing on modern trumpet that doesn’t come from him.”
Armstrong wasn’t the first notable jazz trumpeter in history – he was superseded by Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson and cornet player King Oliver – but he was more significant, combining virtuosity with popular appeal and, with his Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings in the late 20s, lit the touchpaper to what became known as the Jazz Age.
In Armstrong’s wake came trumpeters such as Doc Cheatham, Muggsy Spanier and Bix Beiderbecke – all contenders for the best jazz trumpeter crown. But Dixieland jazz was superseded by big band swing in the 30s which gave rise to a new breed of horn man, epitomised by Hot Lips Page, Cootie Williams, and Harry “Sweets” Edison, who played with the day’s pre-eminent bandleaders, among them Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.
As swing gave way to bebop in the mid-40s, one of the new music’s architects, puff-cheeked wind machine Dizzy Gillespie, gave jazz trumpet a complete makeover. The bop era produced a welter of other fine trumpeters, but one in particular stood out from the crowd: Miles Davis. Though not as technically accomplished as Gillespie, Miles had a lyrical tone and knew how to use space, light and shade. Though he would go on to influence the development of jazz music into the 70s, Davis would have earned his place among the world’s best jazz trumpeters for his work in the 50s alone, and had a profound influence on jazz musicians everywhere. Clifford Brown, too, cast a deep spell during the early 50s and helped to shape the trajectory of jazz trumpet playing.
A steady stream of trumpet players emerged in the 60s, including innovators such as free jazz maven Don Cherry and micro-tone experimentalist Don Ellis. In the 70s, when jazz-fusion and jazz-funk came to the fore, Miles Davis led the way once more, closely followed by Woody Shaw and Eddie Henderson.
No small number of the world’s best jazz trumpeters have emerged in the last 30 years, the most significant of which has been Wynton Marsalis. More recently, Roy Hargrove, Christian Scott and Ambrose Akinmusire have demonstrated that there’s no shortage of talented horn men waiting to break through into the spotlight. They are all part of a long lineage that stretches right back to the legacy of Louis Armstrong.
Partial to a horn of plenty? Look no further than our rundown of The 50 Best Jazz Trumpeters Of All Time…
50: Marcus Belgrave (1936-2015)
Though he was born in Pennsylvania, Belgrave was a key player on the Detroit jazz scene in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He studied with Clifford Brown in the 50s but ended up playing R&B with Ray Charles for several years and then, in the 60s, performed on Motown sessions. A versatile trumpeter who could play jazz, R&B and pop, Belgrave was also a noted and highly respected teacher.
49: Erik Truffaz (born 1960)
Space and a minimalist less-is-more aesthetic are the chief characteristics of this Switzerland-born Frenchman’s sound, which is indebted to Miles Davis’ avant-funk 70s work, especially in his creative use of electronic sound effects. Hip-hop flavours and elements from drum’n’bass and African music also permeate Truffaz’s consistently interesting and fiercely contemporary work.
48: Arve Henriksen (born 1968)
Topping the list of Norway’s best jazz trumpeters, Henriksen has a sound all his own – one that equates more to a Japanese shakuhachi flute than a conventional trumpet. His sound is breathy and mellow, and usually framed by ethereal electronics to create an aura of tranquil meditation.
47: Mugsy Spanier (1901-1967)
Chicago’s Francis “Mugsy” Spanier was a cornet player who fell under the spell of King Oliver and Louis Armstrong and launched his career in the 20s; in the late 30s, after switching to the trumpet, he spearheaded a Dixieland jazz revival. In the 40s, Spanier played with Sidney Bechet and Bob Crosby, while in the following decade he joined Earl Hines’ band. A master of the muted trumpet, Spanier played in a vibrant manner that always seemed to exude joie de vivre.
46: Randy Brecker (born 1945)
The elder sibling of saxophonist Michael Brecker, this Pennsylvania trumpet maestro is defined by his I-can-play-anything versatility. In the 60s, he learned his craft playing with Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In 1975, Brecker and brother Mike formed the funky ensemble Brecker Bros. Brecker’s myriad credits as a sideman (he’s recorded with everyone from Aerosmith to Lou Reed) tend to overshadow his own solo work but he remains one of the best jazz trumpeters alive right now.
45: Doc Cheatham (1905-1997)
Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham came from Nashville and started out playing saxophone professionally (he played with singer Ma Rainey in the 20s) before switching to trumpet and landing a long stint in Cab Calloway’s band in the 30s. But it wasn’t until much later, during Cheatham’s twilight years in the 70s, that his career really blossomed and led to a string of albums under his own name, one of which won a Grammy in 1996.
44: Nicholas Payton (born 1973)
From the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans-born Payton was a child trumpet prodigy (he started playing professionally at the age of 10) who, in his early 20s, was playing with drumming legend Elvin Jones and Hammond hero Jimmy Smith. Payton’s recording career as a solo artist began in 1994 and, to date, he’s shown himself to be a versatile, eclectic trumpeter who in recent years has married jazz with electronics, looped beats, and neo-soul.
43: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (born 1983)
Just 19 when he released his debut album, New Orleans-born Adjuah – the nephew of Crescent City saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr – has risen to become one of today’s young trumpet gods. His sound, which he describes as “stretch music” (after his 2015 album of the same name), is an eclectic coalescence of elements from jazz, hip-hop, rock, electronica and ambient music.
42: Dizzy Reece (born 1931)
One of only a few non-Americans to record for Blue Note in the 50s, Jamaican-born Alphonso “Dizzy” Reece was a professional musician by the time he was 16 but his career rapidly took off after a move to Europe, where he truly entered the ranks of the best jazz trumpeters in history. His admirers included Miles Davis, and fellow trumpeter Donald Byrd guested on the Jamaican’s Blue Note debut, Blues In Trinity. Reece also worked with Hank Mobley and Dexter Gordon, though he remains a cult figure.
41: Roy Hargrove (born 1969)
From Waco, Texas, Roy Hargrove showed early promise and scooped the first of two Grammys while still in his 20s. A superlative improviser with hard bop roots, he also ran a band parallel to his solo career, The RH Factor, which blended jazz with funk and neo-soul. On the recording front, Hargrove has been quiet in recent years but he remains a formable player.
40: Arturo Sandoval (born 1949)
A leading figure in contemporary Latin jazz, this Cuban-born musician fell under the spell of bebop as a juvenile and eventually got to record with his musical hero, Dizzy Gillespie, who became his mentor. Sandoval was also a member of the Grammy-winning Cuban group Irakere in the 70s and 80s. With his flowing, bop-inflected melodic lines underpinned by sizzling Latin rhythms, he’s one of the most technically accomplished trumpeters of his generation.
39: Harry James (1916-1983)
A master of swing, Georgia-born Harry James entered the best jazz trumpeters ranks while learning his craft in the popular big bands of Ben Pollack and Benny Goodman in the 30s, before launching his own ensemble during World War II. An accomplished technician who could play with verve and swagger, James’ band was also renowned for showcasing up-and-coming talent, including a young Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich.
38: Bubber Miley (1903-1932)
James “Bubber” Miley was an extraordinarily gifted trumpeter from South Carolina whose ingenious use of a mute (with which he could produce a crying, wah-wah effect) helped define the sound and style of The Duke Ellington Orchestra in the 20s. Though he left Ellington in 1929 (and died shortly after from TB, aged 29) the innovations he wrought had a lasting impact on the sound of Duke’s band.
37: Dave Douglas (born 1963)
A prolific bandleader and sideman from East Orange, New Jersey, Douglas earned his spurs playing with hard bop legend Horace Silver but has never been afraid to explore new sonic ground. His shape-shifting, genre-defying music – fronted by his mobile horn – reflects the influence of free jazz, eastern European folk music and electronica.
36: Tomasz Stanko (born 1942)
This Polish trumpeter first became acquainted with jazz via US radio broadcasts in the years immediately following World War II. By the early 60s, influenced by Ornette Coleman, Stanko became one of Europe’s leading exponents of free jazz. Stanko’s signature sound is unique, combining a gorgeous, aching lyricism, à la Miles Davis, with an exploratory, probing, free jazz approach.
35: Terence Blanchard (born 1962)
From New Orleans, Blanchard’s five Grammy Awards secure him his place among the world’s best jazz trumpeters, though he first came to prominence when he replaced Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982, eventually becoming its musical director. In the 90s, Blanchard appeared on the radar of the wider public via the soundtracks he composed to several Spike Lee movies, including Mo’ Better Blues. A versatile musician, Blanchard has embraced funk- and electronica-inflected music in recent years but without sacrificing the deep jazz core that’s the foundation of his being.
34: Jonah Jones (1909-2000)
From Louisville, Kentucky, Robert “Jonah” Jones first earned a living playing trumpet on Mississippi riverboats before his recruitment into the big swing-era bands of Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway. In the 50s, Jones – perceived by some as Louis Armstrong’s heir apparent – started to enjoy huge commercial success as a solo artist, with his bright tone, lucid phrasing, and New Orleans infections reaping mainstream adulation.
33: Wynton Marsalis (born 1961)
When acoustic jazz was in the doldrums in the 70s and early 80s, New Orleans-born Marsalis (an outspoken critic of anything fusion-esque or avant-garde) became its saviour, reviving the traditional straight-ahead style to great success. In recent years, Marsalis’ music has become more exploratory, and he remains one of the best jazz trumpeters of his generation.
32: Freddie Webster (1916-1947)
Like Fats Navarro, Webster, from Cleveland, Ohio, died before his talent reached maturity and a wider audience. Though his recordings are few (and mostly as a sideman, with Jimmie Lunceford’s band, for example, and Sarah Vaughan), Webster sits among the world’s best jazz trumpeters because of the profound influence he had on other horn blowers – most notably, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Speaking in the 60s, the latter said Webster “probably had the best sound of the trumpet since the trumpet was invented, a sound that was alive, just alive and full of life”.
31: Hot Lips Page (1908-1954)
Born Oran Page but dubbed “Hot Lips” because of his incendiary, bravura trumpet style, this Texas trumpet titan began his career as a teenager in the 20s before becoming a crucial contributor to the big band swing era in the 30s, when he played with the bands of Bennie Moten, Count Basie and Artie Shaw. Like Louis Armstrong, Page’s talent wasn’t limited to playing the trumpet, as he also proved a capable, blues-style singer.
30: Cootie Williams (1911-1985)
Born Charles Williams in Mobile, Alabama, Cootie worked with stride pianist James P Johnson in the late 20s before joining Duke Ellington’s band (replacing Bubber Miley), where he stayed for 11 years. Williams built his reputation on his skilful use of the plunger mute and creating a wild “jungle” trumpet sound on some of Ellington’s more exotic mood pieces.
29: Cat Anderson (1916-1981)
Few trumpeters could blow as high and wide as William “Cat” Anderson, a South Carolina musician who only made a handful of records under his own name, and who could span five octaves with his horn. He cut his teeth in the bands of Lucky Millinder and Lionel Hampton before landing in the principal trumpet chair of Duke Ellington’s orchestra. Between 1944 and 1971, Anderson enjoyed three separate long stints with Ellington and became famed for his exceptional high-note trumpet work.
28: Clark Terry (1920-2015)
Beginning on the valve trombone, Terry, from St Louis, Missouri, switched to the trumpet and first made his name in the orchestras of jazz aristocrats Duke Ellington and Count Basie during the 40s and 50s. Able to play both swing and bebop with aplomb, Terry mentored a young Miles Davis and recorded a slew of albums both as a sideman and under his own name. One of the best jazz trumpeters of his time, Terry was also a devotee of the mellow, richer-sounding flugelhorn.
27: King Oliver (1881-1938)
Author of the early classic jazz tunes ‘Dippermouth Blues’ and ‘Doctor Jazz’, Joseph “King” Oliver was a principal architect of the New Orleans sound and mentored a young Louis Armstrong, who appeared with him on sides such as ‘Canal Street Blues’ – reason alone for Oliver’s status as one of the best jazz trumpeters in history. The use of muted trumpets in jazz is largely down to Oliver, whose early inspiration was Buddy Bolden. Oliver played cornet up until the late 20s, when he switched to trumpet.
26: Fats Navarro (1923-1950)
Sadly, the promise of this Florida horn man’s huge potential was never fulfilled, thanks to the lethal combination of heroin and tuberculosis that took his life at 26. A rising star of bebop who played with that movement’s chief movers and shakers (including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke), Navarro’s virtuosic style had an indelible impact on Clifford Brown’s style.
25: Louis Smith (1931-2016)
The cousin of Booker Little, Memphis-born Smith relocated to Michigan where he had opportunities to play with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thad Jones before embarking on a solo career after a stint in the army. Influenced by Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown, Smith’s vibrant sound and ability to both swing and play ballads convincingly resulted in a contract with Blue Note in 1958. He dropped off the jazz radar soon after, only to reappear 20 years later.
24: Booker Little (1938-1961)
This Memphis musician’s death, at the tender age of 23, robbed the world of a sensational player who seemed destined for greatness as one of the best jazz trumpeters the world has ever seen. Though hard bop was hardwired into his musical DNA, Little’s work with John Coltraneand free jazz exponent Eric Dolphy (he co-led a band with the latter in the early 60s) evidenced that the virtuosic Little was interested in exploring jazz’s outer limits.
23: Hugh Masekela (born 1939)
The world at large first became aware of this South African trumpeter and flugelhorn player when he scored a substantial US hit in 1968 with the infectious instrumental ‘Grazin’ In The Grass’. He started out in 1959 as a member of The Jazz Epistles, the first African jazz combo to record an LP. When South Africa’s apartheid regime outlawed jazz, Masekela fled to Europe, and then the US, where he forged a stellar solo career fusing jazz with South African township rhythms. He continues to find new forms of expression, recently collaborating with J’Something, singer with South African house group Mi Casa.
22: Eddie Henderson (born 1940)
Not content with being one of the best jazz trumpeters in history, Henderson is also qualified – and practiced as – a medical doctor. He got his big break playing in Herbie Hancock’s envelope-pushing Mwandishi band in the early 70s before going on to forge a successful solo career. An acolyte of Miles Davis, Henderson – who has a burnished tone and likes to use space – initially played fusion before reverting to a more straight-ahead mode of jazz in his later years.
21: Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006)
It was a long-standing joke that Ferguson could play notes so high that only dogs could hear them. Originally from Canada, he served his musical apprenticeship in Stan Kenton’s band before leading his own groups. A flamboyant showman as well as virtuoso horn player, Ferguson could dazzle audiences with his show-stopping, stratospheric high notes and, in the 70s, embraced rock and pop styles which led to mainstream chart success.
20: Art Farmer (1928-1999)
A prolific recording artist, this Iowan horn maestro emerged in the early 50s as an accomplished purveyor of hard bop who, stylistically, was heavily indebted to Freddie Webster and Miles Davis. Like Miles, Farmer – who often preferred the mellower flugelhorn – had a lyrical disposition and was adept at demonstrating emotional restraint, even though he could blow hard and fast, and swing when he needed to.
19: Don Ellis (1934-1978)
Though his mainstream fame rests with the soundtrack music he composed for the gritty 1971 urban crime thriller The French Connection, LA-born Ellis was a jazz innovator who, as well as being an accomplished soloist, composer and arranger, was a keen experimenter. He played and wrote music in unusual time signatures, drew on Eastern music for inspiration and employed various electronic effects with an amplified horn.
18: Harry “Sweets” Edison (1915-1999)
From Columbus, Ohio, Edison – whose nickname referred to his popularity with the ladies – was a stalwart of the Count Basie band between 1937 and 1950. After that, he relocated to the US West Coast and, as well as making a raft of albums under his own name, he became a first-call studio musician easily earning his place alongside the best jazz trumpeters of all time. Adept at playing muted trumpet as well as an open horn, Sweets showed an acute sensitivity when playing ballads but could swing hard on uptempo material.
17: Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931)
With his purity of tone, relaxed approach and gift for melodic embellishment, this self-taught cornet player from Iowa first recorded with the Wolverine Orchestra in the early 20s before making an indelible mark in the large ensembles of Jean Goldkette, Frank Trumbauer and Paul Whiteman in the latter part of the same decade. He also made recordings under his own name, which helped to cement his place in the jazz history books as one its first great improvisers.
16: Buddy Bolden (1877-1931)
Active in the first decade of the 20th Century, New Orleans-born Bolden – about whose life myths abound – was one of jazz’s early horn stars. Though no recordings of him survive, some of his compositions do – and these, along with his oversized legend, are enough to place him high in this list of the 50 best jazz trumpeters of all time. Preferring to play the trumpet’s close cousin, the compact-shaped, smaller cornet, Bolden was instrumental in shaping the sound of early Big Easy-style jazz, introducing a syncopated drum beat (dubbed the “Big Four”) that was more conducive for group improvisation than a straight marching-band rhythm.
15: Don Cherry (1936-1995)
A sidekick of free jazz magus Ornette Coleman between 1958 and 1961, Oklahoma-born Cherry was a doyen of avant-garde jazz whose favourite horn was the more compact pocket trumpet. Away from Coleman’s band, Cherry recorded with Coltrane and also made many envelope-pushing LPs under his own name, and in later years embraced music from other cultures. His musical calling card is producing a stream of rapidly-blown notes and eerie note bends.
14: Kenny Dorham (1924-1972)
A leading player of the hard bop era in the 50s, but whose work is often unheralded, Texas-born Dorham (real name McKinley Dorham) was in the very first incarnation of The Jazz Messengers. Though he didn’t live to see his 50th birthday, Dorham left behind a rich legacy of recorded solo work and a classic composition in the shape of ‘Blue Bossa’. Technically accomplished, Dorham’s fearless experimentation (he dabbled with Afro-Cuban music and Brazilian bossa nova grooves) more than earns him his place among the world’s best jazz trumpeters.
13: Nat Adderley (1931-2000)
A virtuoso of the trumpet and its close relative, the cornet, Tampa-born Adderley was a longtime stalwart of his elder brother Cannonball Adderley’s band between 1955 and ’75, and was instrumental in the birth of the gospel-blues-infused soul-jazz style (he wrote one of the genre’s key tunes, the immortal and much-covered ‘Work Song’). Outside of his brother’s band, Adderley cut a slew of solo albums, each one distinguished by his bluesy horn work.
12: Blue Mitchell (1930-1979)
Miami-born trumpeter Richard “Blue” Mitchell played with Earl Bostic while still in high school, then later, in 1958, got spotted by fellow Floridian Cannonball Adderley and joined the saxophonist at Riverside Records. Mitchell’s main claim to fame was playing with Horace Silver’s quintet between 1960 and ’69. A hard bop stylist with a limpid and soulful tone, he also enjoyed 19 successful years as a solo artist at a variety of labels, including Blue Note.
11: Thad Jones (1923-1986)
The brother of both drummer Elvin Jones and pianist Hank Jones, this self-taught horn blower from Pontiac, Michigan, was a key figure in Count Basie’s band (as an arranger and soloist) during the late 50s and early 60s while enjoying a parallel solo career that saw him cement his status as one of the world’s best jazz trumpeters with recordings for the Blue Note and Prestige labels. In the mid-60s, Jones joined forces with drummer Mel Lewis to found the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.
10: Woody Shaw (1944-1989)
Originally from North Carolina and raised in New Jersey, Woody Shaw was the most accomplished and technically advanced horn blower to emerge in the 60s (he cut his teeth with keyboardists Horace Silver and Larry Young), though he didn’t begin to blossom until the following decade when he began to record prolifically as a solo artist. With his use of wide intervallic leaps, polytonal harmonic concepts and absorption of musical elements from other cultures, Shaw was nothing less than a trumpet phenom who more than earns his place among the 50 best jazz trumpeters of all time.
9: Donald Byrd (1932-2013)
Able to synthesise a bravura trumpet technique with a gift for dazzling improv and an astute emotional acuity, Detroit-born Byrd was a leading light of the hard bop scene in the late 50s and early 60s before incurring the wrath of the jazz police by turning to fusion and funk in the 70s. Ironically, Byrd’s best-selling LP, 1972’s Gold-certified Black Byrd, boasted very little improvisation, but took the trumpeter’s name to a wider audience.
8: Roy Eldridge (1911-1989)
Though short in stature (hence his nickname, Little Jazz), this Pittsburgh musician was a true giant among trumpet players. The way he structured his solos stemmed from the influence of Louis Armstrong, but in terms of sound and style, Eldridge found his own distinctive voice and developed a complex melodic, harmonic and rhythmic language that anticipated bebop (Dizzy Gillespie was a huge Eldridge fan).
7: Chet Baker (1929-1988)
With his matinee-idol good looks, Oklahoma-born Chesney Henry Baker rose to fame in the 50s as the poster boy of West Coast cool jazz. Though he had female fans that were besotted by his dreamy singing voice, it was his trumpet playing – spare, unadorned, lyrical and suffused with tender feeling – that was his greatest musical attribute.
6: Lee Morgan (1938-1972)
Boasting a bright tone and dazzling technique, this Philly-born horn sensation was still a teenager when he played on Coltrane’s 1957 classic Blue Train LP. Morgan’s solo career had, in fact, began a year earlier at Blue Note and continued while the young trumpet prodigy was a member of The Jazz Messengers between 1958 and ’61. An exponent of hard bop, Morgan scored a hit with ‘The Sidewinder’ in 1964 but moved to more exploratory jazz in the latter stage of his short career.
5: Clifford Brown (1930-1956)
Affectionately dubbed “Brownie” by his friends, Pennsylvania’s Clifford Brown was tragically cut down in his prime at the age of 25 (he perished in a car accident) but made such a profound impact with his music during his short life that his influence can still be felt and heard today. A key figure in the birth of hard bop, Brown’s warm trumpet sound blended sensitivity with a virtuosic athleticism.
4: Freddie Hubbard (1938-2008)
This flamboyant and charismatic Indianapolis trumpeter laid the foundations of his career playing with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 60s before embarking on a hugely successful solo career. For Hubbard, whose technical command of his instrument was breathtakingly brilliant, improvising was as natural as breathing. After beginning as a hard bop exponent, Hubbard ventured into soul-jazz territory, then, in the mid-70s, followed a more commercial path. A veritable trumpet Titan.
3: Miles Davis (1926-1991)
Though his chops and technical abilities were not on a par with the flashier Satchmo and bebop maven Dizzy, no one could play ballads more beautifully than Miles, who infused his lean but elegant solos with a sense of languorous desolation. For Miles, using silence and space creatively were just as important as playing notes in helping to convey a mood or atmosphere. Aside from his trumpet playing, Miles was arguably the greatest bandleader in jazz, leading several groundbreaking ensembles from the 50s onwards that helped shape the course of jazz.
2: Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
Famed for his puffed-out cheeks and custom-built “bent” horn, this founding father of bebop and pioneer of modern jazz (born John Birks Gillespie) combined jaw-dropping technical brilliance with ultra-advanced harmonic concepts and set the bar for horn-playing from the late 40s onwards. A disciple of Roy Eldridge, South Carolina-born Dizzy was also a crucial figure in the birth of Latin jazz, and famed for his big band Afro-Cuban fusion sound.
1: Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
Sitting at the top of this list of the 50 best jazz trumpeters of all time is one of New Orleans’ most famous sons. Before the arrival of the gravel-voiced Satchmo – who rose to fame in King Oliver’s Chicago-based band in the early 20s – jazz was defined by collective rather than individual improvisation, but Armstrong’s unparalleled gift for embroidering melodies led him to reinvent the nascent genre as a vehicle for solo extemporisation. A gigantic, hugely influential figure in the history of jazz, popular music would not be the same without him.
This pair of trumpets from Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb are believed to be the oldest playable trumpets in the world. These trumpets are the only ones that have survived from ancient Egypt and are over 3,000 years old. They were discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter during an excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Both instruments featured are finely engraved with decorative images of the god Ra-Horakhty, Ptah, and Amun.
In 1939, the trumpets were played before a live audience and the performance was broadcast internationally through BBC radio. Since their discovery, there have been claims that the trumpets have the power to summon war. People have connected the British entering World War II with the trumpets because the war in Europe started five months after the BBC broadcast.
Music is often called the world’s universal language. No matter where someone may be from, everyone seems to understand the feelings that music evokes. While we may never know for sure when our ancestors first developed music, we do know that some of the earliest examples of musical instruments appeared over 40,000 years ago.
These findings suggest that the early modern humans who first settled in Europe already had musical traditions – it is believed that they created their instruments soon after they settled in Europe. Our ancestors may have developed music about 50,000 years ago, during the cultural explosion, the time period when humans began creating art, jewelry and ceremonially burying their dead.
The Fusion Premium Triple Trumpet Gig Bag is a premium gig bag for commuting musicians. The Premium triple trumpet gig bag is made with high-density foam that offers unparalleled protection, while keeping the bag lightweight.
The gig bag features two adjustable dividers to ensure the instruments are secure. Similar to other cases from Fusion, the Premium Triple Trumpet bag features a robust exterior material, providing a stylish look while also protecting your instrument. The Fusion Premium Triple Trumpet Gig Bag includes an internal padded zipped sleeve and a removable rain cover to ensure the best security for your instruments, and is available in a range of different colours.
The Fusion Premium Triple Trumpet Gig Bag is ergonomically designed for the travelling musician. The main body of the bag is made from 30mm high-density foam which is lined with a plush, non-scratch, velvet-mix lining. The inside of the gig bag can hold three trumpets, two trumpets and a flugelhorn, or two trumpets and additional mutes.
There are two removable, softly padded dividers inside the bag which can be adjusted to fit your instruments securely. Additional soft padded blocks are included to ensure a flugelhorn can be placed firmly. Inside the bag is a removable accessory panel which can attach to any metal music stand measuring up to 500mm wide. The bag also includes a trumpet sleeve for extra protection.
The outside of the Fusion Premium trumpet bag is constructed using robust non PVC backed water resistant rip-stop material for extreme resilience against abrasions. The trumpet bag is secured with two zips and a weather flap which protects the main compartment as well as the music stand pouch. The bottom of the gig bag features a sturdy impact-resistant base for added security when placed on the floor.
Travel Friendly Design
The Fusion Premium Triple Trumpet Gig Bag is perfectly designed for the commuting musician. The rear of the bag features padded backpack straps with chest and waist straps to ensure a comfy and ergonomic fit. If you’d prefer to carry the case by hand, then the backpack straps can be stored away in a zipped compartment. The top of the bag features adjustable carry handles which can also be stored away when not in use. There are also various reflective panels scattered around the case to ensure you can always be seen on the roads at night.
At the front of the Premium triple bag are three accessory pockets with soft rubber zips. The first two pockets are ideal for small accessories such as mouthpieces, valve oil and pencils, while the third pocket is perfect for A4 sheet music and manuscript. All of these features combined with the included address tag and rain-cover make the Fusion Premium Triple Trumpet bag the perfect travelling bag.
Fusion is a small family business based in West Yorkshire which have been manufacturing stylish gig bags since 2008. The designs were born after co-founder and designer Amanda Wheatley realised there was a gap in the market for a compact gig bag that was also stylish. Fusion pride themselves on being bright and fashionable, and now produce gig bags for over 20 instruments.
- Internal Dimensions: 590 x 250 x 300mm
- External Dimensions: 670 x 390 x 390mm
- Weight: 3.5Kg
- Handles: Adjustable Side Handles & Padded Backpack Straps
- Interior Material:Soft Non-Scratch, Non-Fibrous Quality Velvet Mix Interior
- Outer Material:Hardwearing, Non-PVC Backed Water Resistant Polyester
- Fastening Method:Dual Zips
- Accessories:Rain Cover, Internal Padded Sleeve and Retractable ID Tag
- Colour: Black
Natural/Baroque trumpet designer, Laurent Renaud, Graduated with a Scientific Baccalaureate in Mathematics and a Higher Technician’s Certificate in the fields of design, production and industrial organization. He designed his dream instrument with modern CAD tools. Laurent built the first prototype with holes in 2015, followed by the creation of a Blog. Then the first requests inspired him to build a small series, and his work found an echo among musicians throughout Europe.
In 2016 came a model that can adapt to modern and historic tuning forks, affordable and for both experienced musicians and educational institutions.. A third version will then follow, developed from the synthesis of observations and requests from its first clients.
You can find out more about these fantastic instruments when you visit Laurent’s website below.
The Ulster Orchestra is seeking to appoint a Section Leader Trumpet.
Following an enormously successful 2017/18 Season, the Orchestra looks forward to the 2018/19 Season under Music Director Rafael Payare and Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen. Many of the Orchestra’s concerts are broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Ulster and take place at the Ulster Hall and Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
The ideal candidate will:
- have excellent solo and orchestral playing abilities, and a commitment to delivering a high standard of work
- demonstrate excellent leadership skills
- actively develop and support positive working relationships with other members of the orchestra, including the administration, the section, and any freelance players
- have excellent communication and organisational skills
In addition to leading and managing the section, attending auditions and sitting on appointment panels, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in a range of chamber music playing, and Learning and Community Engagement activity.
Candidates invited to audition will be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience in their application:
- Highly reputable classical music training
- Excellent professional orchestral and solo playing abilities
- Proven expertise in a wide range of musical activity, including Learning and Community Engagement and chamber work
- Considerable recent professional orchestral experience in a numbered position
Applications should be emailed to Laura Hamill, Orchestra Co-ordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, using the application form only, available for download below. CV applications will not be considered. Candidates are also required to fill in the Monitoring form, available for download below. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28th August 2018 at 1200. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a screened audition in London on Monday 24th September 2018 or Belfast on Wednesday 10th October 2018. The list of audition requirements will be sent to all applicants by return email.
Heeeeere’s Johnny!” That lead-in, followed by a big band trumpet blast, was the landmark of late night television for three decades. The ‘Johnny’ was Johnny Carson, the announcer was Ed McMahon and the bandleader was Doc Severinsen. Beginning in October 1962, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson ruled the night air for thirty years. On May 22, 1992, it came to an end…
Within a week of the final telecast, Doc Severinsen and His Big Band were on the road, and to this day, audiences across America love and respect Doc and his big band, not just because he shared their living room with them for so many years, but because of Doc’s love of the Big Band repertoire. His musicianship keeps this iconic American music fresh to this day. Their repertoire includes Ellington and Basie standards, pop, jazz, ballads, big band classics and, of course, The Tonight Show theme. Severinsen can still blow hard with his horn, and hit the high notes, a result of his continued commitment to the practice studio and the refinement of his craft. But as a band leader, Doc continues to surround himself with the best in the business, and he’s only too happy to give them a turn in the spotlight.
A Grammy award winner, Doc has made more than 30 albums–from big band to jazz-fusion to classical. Two critically acclaimed Telarc CDs with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra showcase his multifaceted talents from Bach to ballads. The Very Best of Doc Severinsen reprises fifteen of Doc’s signature pieces. His other recordings include Unforgettably Doc with the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, and the Grammy nominated Once More With Feeling on Amherst. He received a Grammy Award for “Best Jazz instrumental Performance – Big Band” for his recording of Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band-Volume I.
In 2006, Doc moved to San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, ostensibly to retire from performance. Within weeks, he was jamming with the magnificent guitarist Gil Gutierrez. He now tours regularly with Gil in a quintet called The San Miguel Five, performing a mix of Latin and Gypsy jazz and standards, to exceptional acclaim. They just released their most current CD, Oblivion, in January 2014.
Severinsen’s accomplishments began in his hometown of Arlington, Oregon, population: 600. Carl H Severinsen was born on July 7th, 1927, and was nicknamed “Little Doc” after his father, Dr. Carl Severinsen a dentist. Little Doc had originally wanted to play the trombone. But Doc Sr., a gifted amateur violinist, urged him to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Doc Jr. insisted on the trombone, which turned out to be unavailable in tiny Arlington’s music store.
And so, a trumpet it would be. A week later, with the help of his father and a manual of instructions, the seven-year-old was so good that he was invited to join the high school band. At the age of twelve, Little Doc won the Music Educator’s National Contest and, while still in high school, was hired to go on the road with the famous Ted Fio Rito Orchestra. However, his stay with the group was cut short by the draft. He served in the Army during World War II and following his discharge, landed a spot with the Charlie Barnett Band. When this band broke up, Severinsen toured with the Tommy Dorsey, then, the Benny Goodman bands in the late 40’s.
After his days with Barnett and Dorsey, Doc arrived in New York City in 1949 to become a staff musician for NBC. After years of playing with NBC’s many studio bands, Doc was invited to play a gig in the highly respected Tonight Show Band. The band leader at the time, Skitch Henderson, asked him to join that band in 1962 in the first trumpet chair. Five years later, Doc became the Music Director for The Tonight Show and the rest is history.
His loyalty to Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon never faltered, and the warm camaraderie between the three was an enormous part of the show’s success. When Johnny decided to retire from The Tonight Show, Doc and Ed said their goodbyes as well. Of course, free from the nightly grind of the TV studio, Doc Severinsen had far more time to expand his musical horizons and continues to keep an extensive touring schedule.
In addition to his San Miguel 5 appearances, Doc tours regularly with his own Big Band and continues to perform with symphony orchestras all over the country. Over the years has been Principal Pops Conductor with the Phoenix Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Pacific Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Doc performs on a S.E. Shires Severinsen Destino III, a trumpet he developed with Steve Shires and the S.E. Shires Company in Massachusetts. The factory has 25 craftsmen who are professional, working brass players and totally understand what is involved in making great brass instruments. The S.E. Shires Company features a line of trumpets that includes the S.E. Shires Severinsen Destino III which was developed through Doc’s supervision until his exacting standards of quality and sound were achieved. Doc continues to make regular visits to the factory.
Today, Doc has not lost his flair for the outrageous fashion statement or his trademark wit. But his gregarious nature has never interfered with the fact that he has been one of the greatest trumpeters and musicians of the last 60 years, respected in the worlds of classical music, jazz, big band, and now even world music. In the end, Doc Severinsen has transcended his celebrity, and rejoiced in his remarkable ability to simply play his trumpet as well as he can. Which has proven to be good enough for the millions of people who count themselves his fans.
The Besson 180th Anniversary Sovereign Cornet offers unrivaled playability to the professional musician, with a custom finish for a stunning appearance. The gold brass bell produces warm, dark tones, whilst the hand hammering ensures an authentic sound.
The Sovereign series of brass instruments are renowned for their smooth playability and exceptional build quality. The cornet’s hand lapped pistons offer a consistent response to your playing, whilst the key tops have a gripped feel to eliminate finger slippage. This limited edition model is the perfect choice for the professional player.
The limited edition Besson instruments celebrate the company’s 180th anniversary. These cornets are limited to 70 units worldwide, each featuring a custom satin plated finish for a stunning aesthetic. The tuning slides also feature a custom bright silver plating, as does the inner bell. This model also features a brand new ‘Besson London’ bell logo, which will later be used on all models.
Everything You Need
The Sovereign cornet includes everything needed to continue playing. The hardshell wooden case has a rugged exterior that is suitable for taking on the road. The case’s plush interior lining protects your cornet from impact whilst keeping the finish polished. The cornet’s care kit features protective polish and valve oil. The included mouthpiece has been specifically selected to match the cornet’s sound.
- Key Of: Bb
- Bell Diameter: 4.88”
- Bell Finish: Hand Hammered Gold Brass
- Bore Size: .460”
- Waterkeys: 2 Lever-Style, Forged
- Valves: Top Sprung Hand-Lapped Monel Pistons
- Finish: Satin Silver
- Accessories: Hard Wood-Shell Form-Fitted Case, Lyre, Care Kit and Mouthpiece
Maurice André did for the trumpet what Segovia did for the guitar, bringing the instrument from its humble origins into both the classical mainstream and popular culture. It had a parallel in his own life: he spent five years down the pits before escaping to music school. The trumpet demands perhaps more physical strength than any other instrument; André attributed his own resilience to those five years at the coal-face, “moving 17 tons of coal a day”.
The importance of André’s example is difficult to exaggerate. Paul Archibald, former professor of trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, said: “The impact and influence that he had on generations of trumpeters was monumental. He defined the art of solo trumpet playing with his beautifully refined phrasing and his effortless technique.” But as well as setting standards for the musicians who were to follow him, André enjoyed a huge popular following, appealing to listeners of every stripe and hue, and crossing musical boundaries with ease.
André was born to the trumpet: his miner father played it, in the colliery band, and for local events. Maurice had two years of school solfège before, aged 12, he began to play the cornet, which his father had won as a prize. He made startlingly swift progress, soon appearing alongside his father, who sent him for lessons with a friend, Léon Barthélémy, a teacher at the Conservatoire in Nîmes. André continued to work in the mines until a near-fatal accident forced him to take time off work – time he used with religious devotion, practising for three hours every morning.
Barthélémy suggested his student join the band of the Eighth Régiment des Transmissions at Mont-Valérien, and it was as a military musician that, at 18, André began studying at the Conservatoire de Paris – though playing in uniform and living in barracks. His principal teacher there, Raymond Sabarich, was demanding and uncompromising, even thumping André when he played a wrong note. The unconventional approach worked: after six months André won the Premier Prix d’Honneur for the cornet and the Premier Prix for the trumpet a year later.
To begin with, there was little demand for a trumpet soloist, and André had to settle for orchestral positions, playing with the Orchestre Lamoureux and the Orchestre Philharmonique de la Radio France, and thereafter with the Opéra-Comique. He also played in night clubs and theatres, but his breakthrough came in 1955 when, asked to join the jury of a music competition in Geneva, he chose instead to appear as a competitor, walking away with first prize.
He was soon making records, many for Erato. He notched up some 300 recordings, and enlarged the trumpet repertoire by raiding those of other instruments. One recording – of Vivaldi concertos with the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan – sold 1.5m copies but got off to a shaky start: when André got a call from Karajan’s assistant, he assumed it was a friend winding him up.
It was with Baroque music that he made his reputation: two signature performances were of the Second of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and the “Badinerie” from the Second Orchestral Suite. He played the high piccolo trumpet with an ease and elegance that astonished – it looked incongruous in his fleshy hands and applied to his round face beneath a thatch of white hair and two bushy black eyebrows. He looked cuddly, approachable, and the TV appearances that began in 1980 brought him an even larger public.
Although André joked that contemporary music reminded him of the noises he used to hear down the mine, composers were hardly going to leave such a resource unexploited, and Boris Blacher, André Jolivet, Jean Langlais and Henri Tomasi were among those who wrote for him.
With the work ethic he had learned as a youth, he had gruelling schedules, averaging 180 concerts a year at his busiest, in the 1970s. But concerts were a family affair: André’s manager was his wife, Liliane, and he often appeared with his brother, Raymond, also a trumpeter, and later with his son, Nicolas, another trumpeter, and daughter Béatrice, an oboist. From 1967-78 he was a professor at the Conservatoire de Paris; his memoir Le Soleil Doit Pouvoir Briller pour Tout le Monde (“The Sun Should Shine for Everybody”) appeared in 2007.
André put the length of his career down to the fact that he had never strained to play and so didn’t tire his lips. He settled in the Basque country in the early 1990s and, though supposedly taking life easier, continued to practise for four or five hours a day, finding time also for painting and wood-carving. His farewell concert was in Béziers in 2008: he should have retired earlier, he explained, but some work on his teeth allowed him to keep going.
For Paul Archibald, the trumpet “was part of him and he sang with an intensity that was pure heart and soul … He was much more than an instrumentalist. His musical personality was natural, honest and sincere and the integrity of his playing is an example to any musician.”
Maurice André, trumpeter: born Rochebelle, Cévennes 21 May 1933; married 1956 (one son, one daughter); died Urrugne, Bayonne 25 February 2012.
The Bach Stradivarius Centennial Trumpet is a limited edition professional instrument to celebrate 100 years since Vincent Bach started his business. This centennial trumpet is based on the famous Bach 190S43 model but with a number of enhancements added to it.
These enhancements include the #43 bell with a side-seam, two-piece valve construction, gold plate-trim, luxurious engraving and also a limited edition case and Bach mouthpiece. All of these features come together to create a truly marvellous trumpet, celebrating what has been an incredible 100 years for Bach.
The Bach Stradivarius Centennial Trumpet is abundant with special features to celebrate such a righteous occasion. The well known #43 bell includes a side-seam running under the braces which combines the disturbance points of the bell to provide better resonance and tone. This side-seam coupled with a steel bell wire provides the perfect balance of sound and projection. The valve casings on this model are constructed using a two-piece design, reminiscent of vintage Bach trumpets.
The bottom two-thirds of the casings are made from yellow brass and the balusters are made using nickel silver to make the trumpet lighter. The final addition to the centennial trumpet is the luxurious plate engraving on the bell. This deluxe engraving is not found on any other Bach trumpet and is the perfect finish to such a triumphant instrument. Included with the Bach 190S43W2 is a limited edition case which features a wine-coloured nest and a special case badge to commemorate the 100th year of Vincent Bach’s business.
All instruments in the Bach Stradivarius series are handmade in America to ensure the highest standard of engineering. The highly skilled craftspeople are still using the original designs used from the 1920s. The .459″ medium bore on the centennial trumpet provides a well-rounded sound with plenty of range. Features such as the standard weight body, standard weight bell and standard #25 leadpipe all contribute to the trumpets premium sound.
The yellow brass found in the bell provides a nice balance between the various playing parameters, which makes it the most widely used and commonly played alloy in the world. Once the centennial trumpet has been constructed a layer of silver plate is added to keep the horn looking newer for longer.
The Bach Stradivarius Centennial Trumpet is filled with high-end features that you would expect from Bach. The #25 leadpipe creates slight resistance which is essential for perfecting tone production and also centering notes. Similar to other Bach trumpets, the centennial model also features 1st and 3rd slide thumb saddles with the addition of a rod stop on the 3rd slide, so precise tuning can be achieved in extreme registers. The valves in the trumpet are crafted from monel which is a nickel and copper alloy. The majority of premium trumpets have monel valves because it is very dense and is more resistant to corrosion, meaning they won’t flake and are less likely to seize up.
The Stradivarius series of instruments are the premium symphonic models originally designed and manufactured by Vincent Bach in the early 1920s. All of the models in this range are made using the highest quality materials to ensure only the best possible instruments are produced. The name “Stradivarius” originates from the first trumpets made by Vincent Bach himself. Musicians would refer to his original trumpets as having a “Stradivarius” sound, which later inspired the name Stradivarius.
Bach have been making trumpets since 1924 and are viewed as one of the best trumpet manufacturers in the world. Musicians frequently referred to Bach trumpets as having a real “Stradivarius” sound, referring to the world-famous string instruments. To this day, Bach Stradivarius trumpets remain the choice of artists worldwide.
- Key Of: Bb
- Bell Diameter: #43
- Bell Finish: Yellow Brass
- Bore Size: .459″
- Valves: Monel Pistons
- Finish: Silver Plate With Gold Plate Trim
- Waterkeys: 1
- Mouthpiece: Bach 3C
- Case: Limited Edition Bach Hard Woodshell Case