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The Chicago Jazz Ensemble Presents Triumph of Trumpets

For Immediate Release Media Contacts:

Kat Ryan

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Carolyn McClair

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CHICAGO, March 24, 2008 In celebration of JAM! (Jazz Appreciation Month), The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE), with Artistic Director Jon Faddis, will present A Triumph of Trumpets on Friday, April 11, at 8:00 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph on the southeast corner of Chicago’s Millennium Park. The fourth in the CJE’s Ninth American Heritage Jazz Series, the concert features stellar trumpeters Lew Soloff, Terell Stafford, Tom Harrell and Randy Brecker, and showcases a variety of styles in Jazz. Keep an ear out for music by Louis Armstrong and discover how the trumpet’s role in Jazz has evolved over the past century.

Faddis and jazz aficionado Neil Tesser kick off the evening with a conversation about the artists and their music from 7:00 7:30 pm.

"To stand on the same stage and play trumpet with my great friends and colleagues Lew, Terell, Tom, and Randy is a privilege and a thrill," said Jon Faddis. "While we all have our different styles, we are looking forward to uniting our horns in tribute to our instrument."

A consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene, Lew Soloff’s career is filled with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. From the time he eased into the East Coast world of trend setting musicians in the mid 1960’s, Soloff’s creative ventures have resulted in a respected body of work that places him in a category of true accomplishment and keeps his elegant and lyrical signatures in constant demand. Whether interpreting a standard or improvising on an original composition, his phrasing and note choices exemplify his unique voice. Soloff is known as a virtuoso with tremendous range and superior technical command, yet he exudes a wisdom for quietness and melody. His expertise includes trumpet, flugelhorn and various mutes; he is particularly recognized for his work on piccolo trumpet.

Terell Stafford has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows Stafford the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads. An educator as well as a performer, Stafford currently holds the positions of Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia and is a clinician for the prestigious Vail Foundation in Colorado and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington program. He also has served as a member of the faculty for the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in New York. No stranger to Chicago, Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago and Silver Spring, MD.

Another Illinois homeboy, Tom Harrell was born in Urbana and began playing the trumpet at age eight. He soon moved to the San Francisco Bay area and was gigging with local bands by age 13. He has performed with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Horace Silver, Lee Konitz,. George Russell, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Berg, Phil Woods and countless others. Since 1989, Harrell has led his own groups, usually quintets, but occasionally big bands. He has appeared at virtually every major jazz club and festival in the world, and has recorded more than 20 albums under his own name since 1976. The Los Angeles Times wrote about Tom, "What Harrell [does] is spin out improvisational lines filled with instant melodies. Like a lyricist who illuminates phrases with subtle internal rhymes, Harrell's soloing captivates both the hearts and the minds of his listeners."

Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R & B and Rock for more than three decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Chaka Khan, George Benson and Parliament-Funkadelics to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn, Horace Silver, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. His history is as varied as it is distinguished. Born in Philadelphia to a piano-playing father, Randy spent summers in stage-band camps where he got his earliest experience in ensemble playing. He began playing R & B and funk in local bar bands while in his teens, but at the same time he had an ear for hard bop. Brecker is a great influence and inspiration to young musicians, and throughout the years, has been in constant demand performing at colleges and universities as well as concert halls, clubs and festivals the world over.

Tickets for A Triumph of Trumpets are $45, $35, $20 and $15 with a 10% discount to senior citizens and students and a 20% discount to groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at (312) 344-6600, (312) 334-7777 or For more information on the CJE’s Ninth American Heritage Jazz Series and the CJE in residence at Columbia College Chicago, visit or call (312) 344-6270.

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble ® is: JON FADDIS, Artistic Director & trumpet; alto saxophones, DAN NICHOLSON and JARRARD HARRIS; tenor saxophones, PAT MALLINGER and ROB DENTY; baritone saxophone, BRIAN SJOERDINGA; trombones, AUDREY MORRISON, TIM COFFMAN, TRACY KIRK, and ANDY BAKER, bass trombone, JOHN BLANE; trumpets, MARK OLEN, LARRY BOWEN, SCOTT HALL, ART HOYLE and PHAREZ WHITTED; piano, PETER SAXE; guitar, FRANK DAWSON; bass, DAN ANDERSON; drums, DANA HALL; and vocals, BOBBI WILSYN.

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Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Chicago Jazz Ensemble with Artistic Director J
  • Press Release Date: 4/11/2008
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