Female Trumpet Players
By: Wayne Humbyrd
Remember when you first started band? It was "understood" that the boys played the drums and brass instruments and the girls played the flute, clarinet or oboe. Those days are long gone. I want to tell you about two women who are establishing themselves as players to be reckoned with.
First, Ingrid Jenson. This Canadian born jazz trumpeter is one of the freshest and most underrated players on the jazz scene. Her sound has been described as "sweet and earthy". Don't let that fool you. Igrid Jensen plays with an intensity and fire that will keep your ears pinned to the speakers. Down Beat recently named Ingrid one of the '25 most important improvising musicians of the future'. She has played with Chick Corea,The Marie Schneider Band and several other top jazz musicians too numerous to mention. She has released 3 CD's on ENJA records. In listening to Ingrid, I tried to get a sense of her influences. I heard everyone from Chet Baker to Satchmo, but mostly it is all Ingrid Jensen. She has managed to develop her own style and sound. You can find Ingrid Jensen today teaching at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Learn more about Ingrid Jensen at ingridjensen.com.
Liesl Whitaker. Chops, power and style. That is the best way I can describe Liesl Whitakers lead trumpet playing. In any big band it starts and ends with the Lead trumpet player. Liesl Whitaker is one of the best lead trumpet players out there. While on the internet one day, I discovered an article about Liesl being named the new Lead player for the U.S. Army Blues band, one of the premier big bands in the country. The first female ever to hold a lead chair in ANY military big band. A very good friend and trumpet authority heard Liesl Whitaker at the International Trumpet Guild a couple of years ago and said "she was the best lead player there"! I immediately had to hear this female lead player! I emailed the Army Blues band office and they sent me their most recent CD. I was literally blown away. To hear a sample of Liesl's playing go to divajazz.com.
These two ladies learned along time ago that playing the trumpet is all about air and controlling that air flow. There are many more fantastic female trumpet players in jazz that were not mentioned here. Do yourself a favor and check out these two players. Enjoy!