Before we get started on the top 10 famous black trumpet players I’d like to take a very brief moment to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Pais and I am not a black trumpet player. Considering this blog is about famous black trumpet payers I thought that information relevant. I am a white female trumpet player from South Africa . I compose and play Deep House trumpet music. My music is modern and popular and is sometimes referred to as “instrumental pop”, however it is composed as deep house music. My album “Another World” is available on iTunes. Take a listen and see what you think. Right, now that I have introduced myself and the type of music I make, lets get straight to it.
First up on the list of famous black trumpet players is no other than the one and only Louis Armstrong or more commonly known as Satchmo or Pops is probably the most well know black trumpet player of all time. Not only was he a jazz trumpeter, but he was also a great singer, and very influential in the world of jazz music overall. He was born on the 4th August, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America. He died on the 6th of July 1971 at 71 years of age. Listen to The Best of Louis Armstrong on iTunes.
Second on the list of famous black trumpet players is Miles Davis was also a black American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, and composer. He is also considered one of the most influential black trumpet players ever. He was born on the 26th of May 1926 and died at age 65 on the 28th of September 1991. Listen to Miles Davis “Kind Of Blue” on iTunes.
Third the list of famous black trumpet players is Dizzy Gillespie who’s real name is John Birks. The name “Dizzy” came from his crazy onstage personality and his way out there high trumpetnotes. Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer born on October 21, 1917 in the United States and died on the 6th January 1993 at the age of 76. He was the guy that led the rest of the world to believe that trumpet playing involved puffing out ones cheeks! This was his trademark along with his bent trumpet. He was a phenomenal musician and is admired by many a trumpeter for his super high notes. I often get told that I must have very strong cheeks. Dizzy’s legacy still lives strong and it is still a belief of the non trumpeter that puffing out cheeks is part and parcel of paying the trumpet. This is however not true and is in fact quite a bad habit as puffing out ones cheeks while playing lessens muscle control in that area. There is a really cool album featuring Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker on iTunes
*Fourth on the list of famous black trumpet players is Wynton Marsalis was born on the 18th October 1961 In America and is currently age 53 years old. He is one of the most influential black trumpet players around today. He is an accomplished, composer, teacher, music educator, and is currently the artistic director of jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. He is one of very few trumpet players to master both classical music and jazz. I have tried to source what I think is the most interesting music for each artist in this blog. Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton’s album “Play the Blues” does that justice.
Fifth on the list of most influential famous black trumpet players is Donald Byrd formally know as Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II was an American jazz trumpet player. He was born on the 9th December 9 1932 in America and died on the 4th February 2013 at the age of 81. “The Best Ff Donald Byrd” is an awesome album. Take a listen.
Sixth on the list of famous black trumpet players is Clark Terry was with us till very recently. A top American swing and bebop trumpeter, and pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz! He was born on the 14th December 1920 and died on the 21st February 2015. He played with many award winning musicians in his time and had a huge influence on trumpet music and jazz. Take a listen to “The Clarke Terry Sixtet” on iTunes.
*Seventh on the list of famous black trumpet players is Terence Blanchard, another influential black trumpet player from America was born on the 13th March 1962 and is currently 53 years old. He is a jazz trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and most interestingly a film score composer. You can listen to a variety of his music on YouTube. Terence Blanchard’s album “Choices” is a really great listening experience. I highly recommend it.
*Eighth on the list of famous black trumpet players is Bobby Bradford a black trumpet player from AmericaHe was born on the 19th July 1934 and is currently 80 years old. His music is way out there and he explorations of modern jazz are to be admired. Take a listen here: Bobby Bradford – Self-Determination. Listen to the “Bobby Bradford – John Carter Quintet” on iTunes.
*Ninth on the list of famous black trumpet players is Kermit Ruffins a black trumpet player once again from America (It would appear that America is the production house for great trumpet players, both black and white!)Kermit Ruffins was born on the 19th December 1964 and is currently 50 years old. His music can be heard here: Kermit Ruffins – St. James Infirmary. Listen to “I Got a Treme’ Woman” on iTunes.
*Tenth on the list of famous black trumpet players is Terell Stafford last on this list of influential black trumpet players but certainly not the least. He was born on the 25th of Novemebr in 1966 and is currently 48 years old. He is a Jazz trumpet player. Take a listen to his music here: Terell Stafford Quintet. You can also listen to his album “Smada” on iTunes.
Source – stephaniepias