Interview with Grammy Award-Winning Trumpeter C.J. Camerieri

C.J. Camerieri

C.J. Camerieri

As a trumpet, French horn, and keyboard player, C.J. Camerieri has enjoyed an active, diverse, and exciting career since completing his classical trumpet training at Juilliard in 2004. He has become an indispensable collaborator for numerous indie rock groups as a performer, arranger, improviser, and soloist and is a co-founder of the contemporary classical ensemble yMusic. yMusic’s debut record was named Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of 2011, the same year that Camerieri won two Grammys as a member of Bon Iver for the band’s sophomore record, which later reached gold status. He is currently the newest member of Paul Simon’s band, joining for 2014’s “Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together” tour.

CJ Camerieri performing with Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band

CJ Camerieri performing with Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band

CJ began working in alternative music as the trumpet player and keyboard player for Sufjan Stevens in January of 2006. He then went on to tour the world as a member of Rufus Wainwright’s band in 2007-2008 before starting yMusic with Rob Moose in the spring of 2008 and later joining in 2011. C.J.’s discography includes well over 100 recordings, including current and forthcoming releases by Bon Iver, yMusic, , Rufus Wainwright, David Byrne, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Gabriel Kahane, The National, Julia StoneMy Brightest Diamond, A Fine Frenzy, Baby Dee, Diane Birch, Joan Osbourne, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, GOASTT, Jesse Harris, She and Him, Harper Simon, Chris Garneau, Clare and the Reasons, Welcome Wagon, Anthony Coleman, ACME, New York Trumpet Ensemble, Argento New Music Ensemble and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.

CJ Camerieri performing with Sean Lennon

CJ Camerieri performing with Sean Lennon


B-flat Trumpet: Bach 37 (3C mouthpiece)
C Trumpet: Bach 229
E-flat Trumpet: Bach Artisan
Piccolo Trumpet: Schilke P5-4
Flugelhorn: Yamaha
Horns: Alexander Model 90; Conn 8D

Interview with C.J. Camerieri, New York City Trumpeter, Hornist and Keyboard Player

The interviewer is Stanley Curtis

SC: What are some of your early musical experiences?

CJC: I started playing the piano at the age of four. My dad is a middle school band director and has always taught private lessons at the house. I remember begging him to let me take lessons from him starting at the age of 3 and his rule was that I couldn’t start until I could read all of the notes on the treble and bass clef staves. I convinced my mother to teach me how to read the notes in “secret” and, although I’m quite sure my dad knew what was going on, we surprised him one day with my new ability to read music. After that I mostly just remember giving piano recitals at the house, which were probably just excuses for my parents and their friends to have a good laugh at my unknowing (yet cute) expense.

SC: Who were you trumpet teachers?

CJC: My first trumpet teacher was my dad. He started me on trumpet in 3rd grade. I began studying at around the age of 10 with a man named Jim Mark, who was the high school band director in my hometown and also happened to be a good trumpet player. I then studied classical trumpet with Roger Blackburn from age 14 through the end of high school and jazz with Rick Kerber. Both of these men were exceptional trumpet players and great teachers who always encouraged me to pursue all types of trumpet playing and musicianship. They both always stressed being as well rounded as possible and being the guy who can always say yes to whatever gig I was called for.

SC: How did you develop your musical interests, tastes and skills?

CJC: I guess I was just always interested in all different types of music. Classical music seemed “easy” to me when I was young so I pursued jazz. I of course learned my lesson about classical trumpet playing being “easy” upon showing up to Juilliard as an overly confident 18 year old. When I moved to New York it was to be a jazz musician–I figured I would get my technique together at Juilliard and then pursue a jazz career. It was then that I really fell in love with playing chamber music. I had never felt that level of musical intimacy playing jazz or commercial music and was super-drawn to it.

Upon graduating from school I played all kinds of gigs. Broadway, ragtime, orchestra, jazz, a lot of free improvisation, big band, and contemporary classical chamber music–but I wasn’t feeling completely fulfilled musically. It was then I started seeking out singer/songwriters. Working with alternative songwriters provided me with the sort of musical opportunity I had always been looking for. I could improvise, write arrangements, play solos, play keyboards, learn new instruments like the French horn, play technically demanding parts on one song, keyboards on another, and then a poppy trumpet solo on the next. My first real gig in pop music was with Sufjan Stevens in Lincoln Center in January of 2006 and I was hooked for life.

SC: What are the challenges to playing horn and trumpet? Are there advantages to doubling?

CJC: They are truly two different instruments. It’s really fun for me. Learning to play the French horn has been great for my trumpet playing. It gets me moving so much more air than I did when I was just playing the trumpet as the horn is twice as long as the trumpet. It’s also been great for my career. The horn is a more flexible instrument in an arrangement context as it can blend or cut through a texture where the trumpet mostly just cuts – so it’s been a great tool for the artists I work with who want the feeling and sound of brass without the distraction of brass!

SC: Tell me about your chamber music experiences.



CJC: My chamber music experiences these days are basically limited to yMusic…which is such a wonderful thing! In a more romantic sense though I like to think that a lot of the work I’m involved with in pop music is literally a chamber music way of making music with other people.

[audio:|titles=”Beautiful Mechanical” CJ Camerieri performing with yMusic]

SC: What is it like being a New York trumpeter?

CJC: It’s fun and exciting. I love it although it’s completely exhausting. In the past two weeks I’ve recorded on 6 records, played 2 cd release shows, 14 Broadway shows, and written 2 arrangements. Tomorrow I fly to Wisconsin for a week to play French horn, trumpet, and keyboards on a new record with a group from the UK called The Staves that Justin Vernon is producing and after that I have 4 weeks to learn about 183 songs for my new gig with Paul Simon.

SC: What is it like playing on Broadway, accepting gigs and working with contractors?

CJC: It’s fun. Contractors are musicians too! They want to be around other fun musicians who sound good and are doing interesting things with their musical lives. A lot of people are walking around scared trying to find a way onto the next gig whereas the best musicians I know are working hard on their own skill set and letting the contractors call them. New York is full of amazing musicians doing amazing things. It’s such an exciting place to live.

SC: What are the social and political realities of Broadway that help someone get ahead?

CJC: Play well. Play all styles. Show up on time. Be enjoyable to be around. Easy!

SC: Yes, it seems easy, when you say it like that! Who are some of your favorite musicians?

CJC: Impossible to list….but here are randomly the first ten to come to mind. Louis Armstrong. Miles Davis. Clifford Brown. Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix. Paul Simon. Michael Lewis. Chris Thile. Justin Vernon. Neil Young.

SC: How did you get to play with Bon Iver?

CJ Camerieri on trumpet and keyboard with Bon Iver

CJ Camerieri on trumpet and keyboard with Bon Iver

CJC: I met Justin Vernon of Bon Iver while playing at Music Now in Cincinnati in March of 2010. My group yMusic, that I cofounded with Rob Moose in 2008, was playing a concert there and Justin was performing a solo show the following day. The festival organizers, Bryce and Aaron Dessner, asked the group to stay for the next day on the off chance that Justin would need some extra musicians for his show. I was a big fan of Bon Iver so I, of course, said yes. We had an absolutely incredible musical experience working with him and that concert is one of the most special and moving nights of my life. A few days later Justin called and asked Rob and me to come to his house in Wisconsin to work on his new record and the rest is history!

SC: What are some of the projects and recordings that you have done of which you are the proudest?

CJC: Bon Iver. That was such a special and magical record to work on…and I got to give one of my Grammy’s to my mom and dad, which was really a special thing for me to be able to do. The first yMusic record wildly exceeded all of our expectations and I think really showcases the group’s ability. That was the first time I ever put my own money and time into something and to get such a wonderful product and response was really wild.

SC: What advice do you have for an aspiring professional musician to do similar things that you have done?

CJC: Create your own brand! That’s it. I like to think I’m a unique musician in that I play both Trumpet and French horn (sometimes with effects pedals) and I can improvise, write, and arrange, and play keyboards. That is my brand. It’s been a lot of work. I took harmony lessons for two years after graduating college. I played some really bad concerts on French horn early on. The first few concerts I used effects pedals on I had major technical failures…but it was all worth it. Brand. As freelance musicians, we are basically products in a marketplace. The stronger the brand the more often you are called upon.

SC: What are your ambitions for the future?

CJ Camerieri with yMusic

CJ Camerieri with yMusic

CJC: My ambitions are fully behind my group yMusic. Our first record did well and got a lot of great press and we are so excited about the next record (it’s almost done being mixed)! We have a lot of exciting concerts this year and I think the group is really special. It’s literally 5 of my closest friends playing music written for us by our favorite composers. What could be better than that! Oh! Also, I’ve just become the newest member of Paul Simon’s band and we have a tour coming up in early 2014 with Sting, which should be incredible! Paul’s band is amazing and I feel so honored to get to work with such a legend. It’s hard to speak of something that hasn’t happened yet – but needless to say I’m quite excited.





How not to get a trumpet job

IMG_3951From yesterday’s post, we know that trumpet unemployment in the U.S. is more than 87% for new college trumpet degree graduates. I think the real figure is more like 95%. But that’s okay, because today, I want to help those who do not want a full-time job or its equivalent in the trumpet world. Sorry this list is so long–but the journey toward unemployment is long.

  1. Before college, be satisfied with your public schools’ music programs for all of your trumpet needs. You should not feel the need for a private teacher. The professional orchestra performs nearby, but why would you need to hear them when you can hear your own band play every day?
  2. Don’t worry about your embouchure. If there are problems, then you can fix them later.
  3. Don’t listen to art music. Yes, you have to play trumpet for the school band and marching band, but when you are on your own, you want to listen to pop, rock and roll, country, or hip hop.
  4. Don’t have a favorite trumpet player or players. Again, who cares about music with trumpet? You just want to follow the hottest pop bands.
  5. Don’t enter solo and ensemble contests, and avoid All-District and All-State competitions. Those are on the weekends, and weekends are made for fun!
  6. Choose a college to go to because they have a great football team. Bonus points for choosing a college because it’s where your friends or family went. Go with the school that seems to be the most enthusiastic about recruiting you–you’ll be happiest there.
  7. When you’re are at college, major in trumpet performance because those band trips in high school were so fun and because the humanities and sciences are boring. 
  8. At college, choose the easiest music courses and teachers, because that will help your grade point average.
  9. Don’t practice more than an hour and a half per day. If you played it once correctly, then move on.
  10. Don’t bother ordering all those pieces that your trumpet teacher asked you to purchase. You can get a lot of music online. Also, you need to be working on wind ensemble and pep band music anyway.
  11. Study ear training only enough to pass the music theory exams. It’s really called, “ear straining.”
  12. Keep bringing in the same pieces to your lessons over and over. “I had a really hard time getting around to the new etude this week, but here’s Egmont Overture for the 10th time.”
  13. Join a social fraternity. Become popular.
  14. Don’t bother trying to get a C trumpet, a piccolo trumpet or an E-flat.
  15. Argue with your teacher. This shows your independence as a musician.
  16. When you finally get around to practicing excerpts, practice them only while warming up before band rehearsal–that impresses the other trumpeters. Just learn the excerpts and not the whole piece, because they will only ask the popular excerpts at auditions.
  17. Once you start practicing excerpts, decide that an orchestra job should really be your only goal (because it’s so hard to get in, it makes the job pretty exclusive).
  18. Do not practice technique, long tones, articulation exercises, or scales because those types of things are not needed at professional auditions.
  19. Don’t go to summer music camp.
  20. You’ll be more of an intuitive player if you don’t organize your practice. Play what comes to mind!
  21. Don’t bother building good relationships with your teachers. They’re very old and don’t matter. No need to offer to help with projects.
  22. When you get really close to your recital date, it’s time to start practicing 6 hours a day, so you can learn all of your repertoire.
  23. Don’t dress nicely for juries or recitals.
  24. Change your equipment to fix your sound. 
  25. Don’t listen to recordings of yourself.
  26. Don’t play with a metronome. It tends to speed up. 
  27. Don’t play with a tuner. 
  28. Don’t keep a journal. 
  29. Don’t sing your pieces. 
  30. Don’t bother learning to transpose.
  31. Don’t buzz your pieces with your mouthpiece.
  32. Don’t memorize your pieces.
  33. Don’t learn how to play other musical styles. 
  34. Drink heavily and try out drugs.
  35. When you go to an audition, realize that your whole life hinges on winning this audition–that will help you focus.
  36. For your first job, only try out for the top five orchestras–that’s where the money is! Please don’t consider joining a military band.
  37. If you win an audition, be sure to act haughty around your peers.
  38. Don’t speak with the conductor. If you do, argue with him or her. If you lose the argument, do what you want to do anyway at the concert. Because being passive-aggressive is always effective.
  39. There’s another audition coming up for a better job, so don’t waste your time practicing for your current job.
  40. If you’re a section player, be sure to show the principal trumpeter how strong your sound is and what a good leader you are. Blending is for sissies.
  41. Be sullen, unpracticed and unprofessional at pops concerts. Because you want to play classical music, not pops.
  42. Talk poorly about other trumpeters when they’re not around.
  43. Don’t try to create a new sound or a new group. 

Hopefully this list will prove helpful to those trumpeters who enjoy hanging out with their friends after graduation. You can’t really hang out as much if you have a job.

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My Top Ten List of Classical Trumpet Soloists Living Today

I wanted to pay tribute to the trumpeters whose solo talents open our ears and heart with their playing. They are perhaps the ones who work the hardest to raise the reputation of this instrument from its military beginnings to become as equal as possible with violinists, pianists and singers who concertize internationally. This list is for classical trumpet soloists who are still alive and playing today.

The Amazing French Trumpeter, David Guerrier

The Amazing French Trumpeter, David Guerrier


1. David Guerrier, French trumpeter AND hornist. Incredibly versatile (trumpet, horn, and baroque trumpet, keyed trumpet, natural horn), I once heard from Niklas Eklund that he hardly is known to practice! While this surely can’t be true, he is definitely naturally talented. This is a video of David playing the Arban “Carnival of Venice” on an antique cornet. In the same concert, he also plays keyed trumpet and hand horn!!



2. Håkan Hardenberger, Swedish sensation of the 1990’s, he still plays quite a bit. Håkan has played a wide variety of repertoire, including avant-garde music, and has recorded dozens of albums.

Here’s a nice documentary about Håkan from 1992. 48 minutes long, it has some nice audio in between the talking:



English Trumpeter, Alison Balsom

English Trumpeter, Alison Balsom



3. Alison Balsom is one of my favorite soloists today because of her obvious authenticity when it comes to baroque music. From England, she has recorded numerous albums and has even devised a theatrical work where she plays trumpet on stage! Here she is talking about a period instrument recording project:



4. Philip Smith–I know, he’s an orchestral trumpeter, but he solos so frequently and he has recorded so often, and, most importantly, he sounds so amazingly when he solos, that I have to include him on this list! Here he is playing the music that he obviously loves so much. That sound is heavenly.



Boston University Professor of Trumpet, Terry Everson

Boston University Professor of Trumpet, Terry Everson


6. Terry Everson, here’s a thinking man’s trumpeter who also can really “sing” on the instrument. Check him out on this very difficult sonata by Jan Krzywicki.





7. Jens Lindemann, multiple-prizerwinner, chamber musician and soloist from Canada. Here he is doing what he does best:


8. Tine Thing Helseth–Norwegian trumpeter, Tine has recorded numerous albums. Here’s a performance with an all-women orchestra in Norway.


Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony

Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony


9. Ryan Anthony, one the most naturally gifted trumpeters I know, Ryan has spent a lot of time in quintets (like the Center City Brass Quintet and the Canadian Brass Quintet), but he is an amazing soloist. Here he is at Lindenwood Christian Church performing with organist Gary Beard. No complete takes here, but you can get the idea. He’s a virtuoso!




10. Matthias Höfs, is one of my favorite German trumpet players (and I have many!).  I thought I would offer up this “Spanish Christmas” video with his strange two-bell trumpet (one for mute). He has played with the German Brass since 1985. His piccolo playing is also amazing.

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Interview with Baroque Trumpeter, Barry Bauguess

Barry Bauguess is one of North America’s most sought-after Baroque trumpet concert and recording artists. He has served as principal trumpet with Apollo’s Fire, Bach Collegium San Diego, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival Orchestra. Barry also frequently appears with other ensembles including Chatham Baroque, Tafelmusik, Tempesta di Mare, Folger Consort, Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, American Bach Soloists, and was a member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for fourteen years. He is currently a Kulas Visiting Artist in the Historical Performance Program at Case Western Reserve University and serves on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory.

Barry is also the owner of The Baroque Trumpet Shop in New Bern, North Carolina and is publisher of  Music for Natural Trumpet, performing editions of  17th– and 18th-century works for natural trumpet. He holds a BM and MM from the NC School of the Arts and  has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, Koch International, Conifer Classics, Nonesuch, Sine Qua Non, PBS and NPR. When not physically attached to the trumpet, Barry can usually be found either in his kitchen cooking with his wife, Baroque Dance Soloist Paige Whitley-Bauguess or on the back roads of North Carolina racing his bicycle. You can visit Barry at


Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference

Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference


  •   Baroque – Egger B-9
  •   Classical – Egger KSE-6
Natural C/D Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after Michael Nagel, Nuremburg, 1657. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Natural F Trumpet:  Markus Raquet, Bamburg, 2009, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1740.
Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum

Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum

Coiled Trumpet:

  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2007, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1688.
Baroque Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2013, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 3-hole trumpet made from Nuremburg brass with seamed, conical crooks
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2010, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 4-hole trumpet, “Historic” Solo Model.
Keyed Trumpet:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2004, after Alois Doke, Linz, c. 1823.
Classical Trumpet:
  •  Richard Seraphinoff, Bloomington 2003, after C. Missenharter, Ulm, mid 19th century
Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem

Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem


  • French Besson, Paris, 1862.






Interview with Barry Bauguess, Baroque Trumpeter. 

The interviewer is Stanley Curtis.

SC: What was your early education in music like and how did you get interested and started in early music?

The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, "Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ" released in 1973

The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, “Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ” released in 1973

BB: When I was in high school I was lucky enough to study with a great teacher, Eddie Bass at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He introduced me to early recordings of Don Smithers and Ed Tarr.

In undergraduate school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, both of my teachers, Ray Mase and Allan Dean played early music. That led me to purchasing my first cornett and Baroque trumpet. On my senior recital, I played a lot of contemporary music along with some Baroque trumpet and cornett. I then went on to graduate study with Fred Holmgren in the Early Music Program at the New England Conservatory.

SC: What are some of your most memorable performances?

Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig

Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig

BB: My most memorable performance have more to do with location than music. Playing Bach Cantatas in Leipzig and Weimar in the same spot that Bach’s trumpet players stood was pretty exciting. Performing Spanish/Mexican music with Chanticleer in Missions all along the California Coast was spectacular. Playing in my backyard while looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains is my favorite place to practice!

 SC: Could you share some of your recordings?

BB: I don’t have much on YouTube except where I’m playing in an orchestra somewhere. I’m on most of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra‘s Handel Oratorio recordings, American Bach Soloists‘ BWV 51 and B-minor Mass, and all of Apollo’s Fire‘s recordings between 2000 and 2012.

SC: Let’s listen to the “Patrem omnipotentem” from Bach’s B-minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists. Nice high “D”!

Note: these recordings require Adobe Flash and Java plugins in order to hear them.

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess playing “Patrem omnipotentem” with the American Bach Soloists]

SC: Now let’s hear you play the Trumpet Shall Sound with Apollo’s Fire. I really like this recording, because it has a lot of personality, from the cellos to Jeffrey Strauss and you!

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess playing trumpet solo on “The Trumpet Shall Sound” with Apollo’s Fire, Jeffrey Strauss, baritone soloist]

SC: I really want to hear one more track from that awesome recording–“Worthy Is the Lamb.” Okay, I guess one reason is because I’m playing second trumpet on it. But the other reason is the flexible, yet crafted feeling of the ensemble!

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess and Stanley Curtis play “Worthy is the Lamb” with Apollo’s Fire]

SC: Your favorite recordings and performers to listen to are…

Bach's B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and

Bach’s B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and

BB: One of my favorite recordings is the 1984(?) recording of B-minor Mass with Joshua Rifkin. The trumpets are Fred Holmgren, Jessie Levine, and Ray Mase. It was my first exposure to the repertoire of Bach and the trumpet playing is still amazing today. My favorite players to listen to are Friedemann Immer, David Staff, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Per-Olav Lindeke, Fred Holmgren, and of course now, Jean-François Madeuf.

Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer

Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer


SC: What are your personal insights and ways you approach the baroque trumpet?

BB: I think of myself as an early musician who happens to play the Baroque and natural trumpet. I approach the Baroque trumpet from a musical standpoint instead of from a physical feat. If I can’t make music in an historically-informed way, I’ll find something else to do. I like to play everything on natural trumpet first, and then if I have to, play it on a vented trumpet with the same articulations, phrasing, and performance practices as on the unvented instrument. I’m a real believer that if you can’t do it on a natural trumpet, you have no business trying it on a vented one. Some conductors and circumstances may require a vented trumpet, but you should still be able to do it without moving your fingers. Isn’t it amazing that “natural” trumpet players today practice fingering!!

SC: How would you advise a trumpeter interested in learning baroque trumpet in this day and age?

Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel

Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel

BB: Get the best instruments you can afford, then go study with the most historically-informed musical player you can find. Any good modern player can learn to operate the vented Baroque trumpet, but only a few can make music.

SC: Tell me about your research, editing and scholarship.

BB: I’ve done quite a bit if research into original equipment and original editions. I like to play from facsimiles when possible – it just feels right. Much of my research and editing has been dedicated to French Baroque dance music for performances by my wife, Paige Whitley-Bauguess spending countless hours in the UC Berkeley library poring over Lully, Rameau, and Campra opera scores.

SC: Your business, The Baroque Trumpet Shop, perhaps one of the most important baroque trumpet retail shops in the world, has been a big part of your life. Why did you start this business?

BB: I started the Baroque Trumpet Shop in 2004 (10th anniversary next April) to offer players the opportunity to try instruments and mouthpieces and choose the best that’s available from the best makers. When I started playing, the best one could do is order a trumpet of some kind from Europe and hope it worked. At the shop, I try to have one of every Egger no-hole, 4-hole, 3-hole, and keyed trumpet in stock to try out. Having played professionally for over 30 years now, I can usually make some pretty good suggestions for trumpets and mouthpieces for players.

SC: Barry, I agree–you’re fantastic at helping trumpeters figure out the best equipment for them.

A final questions: how do you see the future of baroque music making (especially considering the baroque trumpet) evolving?

Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute

Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute

BB: I’m really not sure. I used to be more optimistic than I am now. With the world economic problems, there just isn’t as much support for early music (or modern music for that matter) as there needs to be. The lack of work for modern trumpet players, as well as other modern musicians, has led to many players entering the field for the wrong reasons. They seem to regard it as just another income stream, not as a musical quest. There are some really good trumpet players out there today who can play the pants off a vented trumpet, but not many of them take the time to study the performance practice and live the music.

Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute

Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute

I am heartened by many students at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and at Case Western University’s Historical Performance Program.

The interest in learning to play early music on all instruments in an historically-informed way at these schools is truly amazing. Over one-hundred trumpet players have gone through BPI since I started teaching there and they’ve all be a real inspiration to me. I really hope the economy improves so these talented young players can make a great living while pursuing their true passion.

My Top Ten Jazz Trumpet Players of Today

The inimitable Wynton Marsalis wins the Stanley Curtis "Best Jazz Trumpeter" once again.

The inimitable wins the “Stanley Curtis Best Jazz Trumpeter Award”–once again.

This is a list of my top-ten favorite living and playing in our time. By “,” I mean trumpeters who primarily play jazz improvisation. Although my list is a little “rearguard” rather than avant-garde, I am sure you will enjoy listening to these guys if you haven’t already. On each name, I give a hyperlink to a website that explains why this trumpeter is great. Then I also give a little taste of that player’s music with an embedded YouTube viewer. I welcome your opinions–feel free to post! Enjoy!

1. Wynton Marsalis. No one can touch him in terms of rhythmic drive, technique, awards, recognition and contributions. A straight-ahead approach with a focus on the roots of jazz. In my opinion he just gets better and better.

2. Tom Harrell. An amazing human being and jazz musician. Check out this solo (unaccompanied) on “Joy Spring” (click the word “solo”). Here’s an interesting interview/documentary produced by PBS–check out how brilliantly he speaks:



Dave Douglas and I at Blues Alley, Washington, DC (November 13, 2012)

and me at Blues Alley, Washington, DC (November 13, 2012)



3. Dave Douglas. Very original voice in jazz today. Great musician.







4. Ryan Kisor. Great jazz trumpeter, sideman and band leader. Here’s a video showing some awesome Woodie antique cars with Ryan’s quartet playing.



4.5. (Okay, I am going to sneak one–or more–into the top ten list) By the way, if you haven’t heard his brother, Justin, you should check him out! Listen to his group’s video of “Nica’s Dream” (around 2’20”). Justin used to be in the U.S. Navy Band Commodores.



And while I’m on THAT subject, the Commodores’ MU1s Tim Stanley and Jon Barnes are pretty awesome at improv. Just sayin’. Here’s Tim Stanley playing with the Afro Bop Alliance (listen at minute 4).



5. Jon Faddis. A traditional Dizzy disciple and, incidentally, a high-note master, a pleasure for trumpet players to listen.



6. Terence Blanchard. Master jazz trumpeter with a wide palette of jazz styles. Maybe I should have placed him higher in the list–after all he’s won 5 Grammys! He has also written a number of soundtracks.


7. Avishai Cohen. Gorgeous sound, thoughtful improvisation.



8. Claudio Roditi. The Brazilian-born, rotary-valve-playing trumpeter is a class act.


9. Dominick Farinacci. From Cleveland, this trumpeter sounds fantastic! Here’s a video of him playing Clifford’s solo on “Jordu” (while riding in an RV). Don’t worry, you’ll find a lot of other stuff that is actually Dominick’s.


10. Arturo Sandoval. Okay, I’m sorry for putting Arturo in tenth place–behind some punk from Cleveland. But maybe I saved one of the best for last! Here’s a fairly recent video.