Adam Rapa is a trumpet player known for his super-human performances. In this video he is performing an arrangement of Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2.
As if it wasn’t hard enough to play a clarinet concerto on the trumpet, this arrangement also changes the time signature from 4/4 to 7/8!
Rapa is playing a 4-valve Bb trumpet, which allows him to play some of the clarinet notes that go below the traditional range of the Bb trumpet. The brass and percussion accompaniment by the Belgian Brass is outstanding!
Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome was composed in 1924 and has been a major staple in the symphonic repertoire ever since. The beautiful off-stage trumpet solo in the second movement is frequently included on professional auditions.
An arrangement was written for brass ensemble and performed here by the All-Star Brass in 2014. The brass playing here is nothing short of amazing (the piece is hard enough to be played by a full orchestra!).
The three trumpet players are Jens Lindemann, Ryan Anthony, and Phil Snedecor.
The first video is the 2014 All-Star Brass recording. The second is the original version for full orchestra as recorded by the New World Symphony.
The New York Trumpet Ensemble has recorded a handful of albums since its founding in 1974. It has featured some of the best trumpet players in New York throughout several decades.
The first video below is the traditional jazz tune East St. Louis Toodleoo from the album Trumpets in Stride. Enjoy the variety of mutes and jazz inflections!
The second video is from their first album, A Festival of Trumpets, where they recorded previously undiscovered works by composers from the Baroque Era.
Jens Lindemann is our featured artist for today. I had the pleasure of hearing him play (twice!) with the Canadian Brass when I was in high school.
Jens is an outstanding trumpet player, brilliant musician, and an incredibly funny and entertaining showman. He has been featured as a soloist with countless ensembles, and he toured for many years as a member of the Canadian Brass. He currently teaches trumpet at UCLA.
In this video, he is performing an arrangement of classical melodies mixed with a jazz/rock rhythm section. He’s playing on a piccolo trumpet (one octave higher than a traditional Bb trumpet). What a fun video!
Here’s an amazing video featuring the trumpet section of the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1958. The featured trumpet players are Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Clark Terry, and Ray Nance. What a treat to be able to see this footage!
Our trumpet inspiration list hasn’t included much along the lines of slower, jazz ballad playing. Here is an incredibly beautiful rendition of I Remember Clifford featuring Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn. It’s a moving ballad composed in memory of trumpet giant Clifford Brown. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful and heartfelt rendition than this.
Anthony Plog is a true giant among classical trumpet players. His career today focusses mostly on composing and teaching, but his recordings of the trumpet repertoire from earlier in his career are outstanding. Videos of the first movements of the Halsey Stevens and Hindemith Sonatas are included here.
Plog’s website includes several videos of his teaching that are full of insight and inspiration for us all!
I wanted to feature jazz trumpet hero Clifford Brown and couldn’t decide on my favorite video, so here are several! Brown’s life was tragically cut short by a car accident when he was 25, but he still managed to establish himself as one of the greatest bebop trumpet players in jazz history.
Clifford Brown’s playing style and language has influenced nearly all jazz trumpet players who came after him.
Today’s video features 3 giants of jazz trumpet history: Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Woody Shaw. Gillespie (along with saxophonist Charlie Parker) is one of the most important figures in establishing the bebop style and language. Hubbard is an important figure in the next chapter of jazz history, which combined the bebop language with other styles of music. Shaw represents a playing style that takes the bebop language and interprets it in a more modern interval-based language. In this video we get to see 3 different chapters in jazz history all improvising over the same tune!
Also, listen to the saxophone solo by Kenny Garret — arguably the best and most well-crafted solo on this video!
It’s officially gone above 100 degrees here in Austin, TX this week, so today’s featured video is an incredible rendition of Frosty the Snowman by Louis Dowdeswell and his his big band. The arrangement features several members of the band, as well as a great solo and incredible lead playing by Dowdeswell himself. Enjoy!