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20 Best Jazz Trumpet Players of All Time

The trumpet is an essential instrument in many genres because it can play well with almost any other instrument. Many of the performers on this list are trumpet luminaries who shaped jazz, blues, swing, Dixieland, and other genres for the rest of their lives.

The trumpet is undoubtedly the most well-known when it comes to wind instruments. It has been used in jazz since the beginnings of the genre in New Orleans.

On the other hand, a trumpet is only as good as the person blowing into it. As a result, this article aims to provide you with a thorough list of a few of the best trumpet players of all ages.

This article focuses on jazz artists and their contributions to the realm of trumpeting in this genre of music.

20. Clark Terry (1920-2015)

Terry at the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival
Terry at the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival

Clark Virgil Terry Jr. was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, composer, and educator. He was a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz.

From 1962 through 1972, he was a member of The Tonight Show Band The Tonight Show. Terry was the first African American to be a regular in a major US television network’s band.

Terry recorded George Gershwin’s “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” for the Red Hot Organization’s compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody in 1998, which earned money for various organizations dedicated to raising AIDS awareness and battling the disease.

In 2011, his autobiography was released. The documentary Keep on Keepin’ On, released in April 2014, follows Terry for four years as he mentored Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano prodigy preparing to compete in an elite international tournament.

Terry has earned over 250 prizes, medals, and accolades, including: 

  • Induction at Lincoln Center into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame at Jazz (2013) 
  • In 2010, The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, two Grammy awards, and three Grammy nominations
  • Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department’s Middle East and Africa tours
  • In Germany, a knighthood

Terry was admitted to hospice care on February 13, 2015, to help manage his severe diabetes. On February 21, 2015, he passed away.

19. Freddie Hubbard (1938-2008)

Hubbard performing in Rochester, New York, 1976
Hubbard performing in Rochester, New York, 1976

Frederick Dewayne Hubbard was a jazz trumpeter from the United States. From the early 1960s forward, he played bebop, hard bop, and post-bop styles. 

His recognizable and influential tone influenced modern jazz and bebop in new ways. 

Freddie (Blue Note) and Hubbard’s debut collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter was released in August 1961. 

Caravan, Ugetsu, Mosaic, and Free for All are among the Blakey albums he played. He began to develop his sound, moving away from Clifford Brown and Morgan’s early influences and winning the DownBeat jazz magazine’s “New Star” award on trumpet.

Hubbard surpassed Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, and George Benson in popularity during the 1970s with a series of records for Creed Taylor and his record label CTI Records.

Hubbard received the National Endowment for the Arts’ highest jazz distinction, the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 2006.

Hubbard died on December 29, 2008, in Sherman Oaks, California, from complications related to a heart attack on November 26.

18. Rafael Mendez (1906-1981)

Rafel Mendez Playing Trumpet
Rafel Mendez Playing Trumpet

Rafael Méndez was an excellent solo trumpeter from Mexico. He’s dubbed the “Heifetz of Trumpets.”

Méndez was a full-time soloist from 1950 to 1975. He used to play around 125 gigs each year at his height. He was also a prolific recording artist. 

By 1940, he led the brass section of M-G-studio M’s orchestra in Hollywood. He worked on several films, including Flying Down to Rio and Hondo.

Méndez’s tone, range, skill, and unrivaled double tonguing made him a legend. His playing was characterized by a beautiful tone, wide vibrato, and clear, fast articulation. Classical, popular, jazz, and Mexican folk music was part of his repertory.

To the trumpet repertoire, he contributed several arrangements and original compositions. David Hickman recorded his Scherzo in D minor, frequently heard in recitals.

He is credited for popularizing “La Virgen de la Macarena,” often known as “the bullfighter’s song,” in the United States.

Mendez double-tongues constantly for nearly 4 minutes while circular breathing to give the impression that he is not taking a natural breath while playing “Moto Perpetuo,” perhaps his most significant if not famous single recording.

Méndez had severe asthma. On September 15, 1981, he died in Encino, California.

17. Chet Baker (1926-1988)

Chet Baker in 1983
Chet Baker in 1983

Baker’s chiseled features drew the attention of Hollywood studios. In 1955, he made his acting debut in Hell’s Horizon. He turned down a studio contract because he preferred life on the road.

Baker began using heroin in 1957, according to him. Baker pawned his instruments to obtain narcotics on occasion.

Baker was discovered dead with major head wounds on the street below his room in Hotel Prins Hendrik, Amsterdam, early May 13, 1988. He had fallen from the second-story window.

In his room and on his body, heroin and cocaine were discovered. 

In his lifetime, he received numerous prizes, including:

  • Induction into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, 1987.
  • Jazz Hall of Fame, DownBeat magazine, 1989.
  • Chet Baker Sings (1956) was recognized in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • In Yale, Oklahoma, on October 10, 2015, there exists a Chet Baker Jazz Festival in his honor.

16. Bud Herseth (1921-2013)

Adolph Bud Herseth
Adolph Bud Herseth

Herseth was widely considered one of his generation’s best symphonic trumpeters. For 53 years, he was the lead trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Herseth’s career as principal trumpet encompassed the Reiner years when the orchestra came to prominence thanks to the brass section’s powerful and precise sound.

According to a history of the city item on the Chicago History Museum’s website, the CSO’s “The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s distinct sound and high level of performance have contributed to establishing it as a world-class institution.

It also established Chicago as a global center for brass instrument performance research.”

Herseth left the company in 2001. The Adolph Herseth Principal Trumpet Chair, which he held, is now named after him. He died on April 13, 2013, at the age of 91, in Oak Park.

15. Sergei Nakariakov (1977-Present)

Nakariakov in 2019
Nakariakov in 2019

Sergei Mikhailovich Nakariakov is a Russian-Israeli trumpet virtuoso in Paris, France. He rose to popularity in the late 1990s. 

At 15, he issued his first CD, including Ravel, Gershwin, and Arban’s The Carnival of Venice. Joseph Haydn, Telemann, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, J. B. Neruda, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky are composers whose works Sergei Nakariakov has recorded.

He has recorded with the Philharmonia, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Wolff. Jan Schmidt-film Garre’s No More Wunderkind portrayed him in 2004.

A. Arutunian: Trompet Concerto, G. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, P. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, and others are among Nakariakov’s recordings.

In his CD No Limit, released in 2000, Nakariakov performs a flugelhorn transcription of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, initially written for cello and orchestra.

Nakariakov performed on a flugelhorn designed by Antoine Courtois with four valves, allowing him to play lower than most flugelhorns.

14. Harry James (1916-1983)

Publicity photo of James, in 1975

Harry Haag James was an American trumpet player who influenced future trumpet players from the late 1930s through the 1940s. He was noted among musicians for his technical proficiency and tone.

Early in his career, his ability to sight-read earned him the nickname “The Hawk.” Harry James used to say that he would play it if a fly fell on his written music.

It was then renamed Harry James and His Music Makers, and it went on to release the hit “You Made Me Love You,” which reached number 5 on Billboard’s National Best Selling Retail Records chart for a week.

He started his band in 1939. James made a crucial step by switching to a pop sound. James’ decision paid off in a commercial sense, as he soon had a streak of chart-topping tunes that brought him and his band great success.

He also acted in several films, including Hollywood Hotel, Syncopation, Springtime in the Rockies, Two Girls and a Sailor, and others, in which his band was featured.

Harry James’ two albums have been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame as of 2016.” Downbeat magazine’s annual readers’ poll named James the greatest trumpet instrumentalist for 1937, 1938, and 1939 and favorite soloist for 1942.

13. Alan Vizzutti (1952-Present)

Allen Vizzutti in 2010
Allen Vizzutti in 2010

Allen Vizzutti is a trumpeter, composer, and music instructor from the United States. Lido Vizzutti, Vizzutti’s father, taught him how to play the trumpet. 

Vizzutti won the concerto competition at 16 and was given the first chair in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in Interlochen, Michigan.

He’s done solo shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Newport Jazz Festival, Banff Center for the Performing Arts, and other venues.

Back to the Future, Star Trek, The Black Stallion, Rocky II, Poltergeist II, Firefox, Sudden Impact, 10, Under the Cherry Moon, Broadcast News, The Electric Horseman, and 1941 are among his 150 film soundtracks. 

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, and The Tonight Show Orchestra, among others, premiered Vizzutti’s symphonic pieces.

Vizzutti has taught at the University of Washington’s Eastman School of Music, the Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas State University, West Texas State University, the University of South Carolina, and the University of North Texas Skidmore Jazz Institute, and Bremen’s Trompeten Akademie.

12. Lee Morgan (1938-1972)

Lee Morgan in 1959 playing the Trumpet
Lee Morgan in 1959, playing the Trumpet

Edward Lee Morgan was a jazz trumpeter and composer from the United States. 

Morgan rose to fame as one of the essential hard bop players of the 1960s in his late teens, recording on John Coltrane’s Blue Train (1957) and with drummer Art Blakey’s quintet before establishing a solo career.

As his skills progressed, Morgan’s later records found him experimenting with different types of music, such as post-bop and avant-garde jazz.

Initially drawn to the vibraphone, he quickly developed a passion for the trumpet. Morgan was also a proficient alto saxophonist. 

He recorded The Sidewinder in 1963. In 1964, the title track reached number one on the pop charts and was used as the theme for Chrysler television advertising during the World Series.

In the last two years of his life, he got increasingly politically committed, becoming one of the Jazz and People’s Movement leaders. 

Morgan was slain while performing with his band in the early hours of February 19, 1972. Morgan’s common-law wife, Helen Moore (a.k.a. Helen Morgan), shot him after an altercation between sets.

11. James Morrison (1962-Present)

Morrison performs at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2017
Morrison performs at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2017

James is an Australian jazz musician and composer born in Boorowa, New South Wales. His primary instrument is the trumpet. 

He also worked on trombone, tuba, euphonium, flugelhorn, saxophone, clarinet, double bass, guitar, piano, and trumpet.

Morrison comes from a musical family. His mother plays alto saxophone, piano, and organ; his sister plays trumpet; and his older brother, John Morrison, plays jazz drums. 

Morrison has been the host of Qantas Airways’ in-flight jazz radio program. On Network Ten in 1994, James hosted Behind the Wheel, a motoring television series.

At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, he penned and performed the opening fanfare. Morrison and a cappella group, The Idea of North, won Best Jazz Album at the 2010 ARIA Music Awards for their collaboration on Feels Like Spring.

Morrison was named Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival in 2012, 2013, and 2015. At the Australian Jazz Bell Awards in 2013, he was inducted into the 

Graeme Bell Hall of Fame. In Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in July 2013, he conducted the World’s Largest Orchestra, which consisted of 7,224 musicians.

Morrison founded the James Morrison Academy of Music in Mount Gambier, South Australia, in March 2015, a tertiary level jazz school that offers a Jazz performing degree.

Morrison is working with young bands and supports scholarships for musicians. Generations in Jazz have been a part of his life for over three decades. He is the chairman of this organization, which hosts one of the world’s largest youth jazz festivals. 

10. Timofei Alexandrowitsch Dokschizer (1921-2005)

The Trumpet Virtuosity, Timofei Dokshizer
The Trumpet Virtuosity, Timofei Dokshizer

Timofei Aleksandrovich Dokschitzer was a professor at Gnesins Musical College and a Soviet Russian trumpeter. He was the Bolshoi Theater’s solo trumpeter.

Dokschizer started playing when he was ten years old. He graduated from Gnesins Musical College and Central Musical School and was the winner of the International Competition in Prague in 1947. He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in 1957.

Dokschizer rose to fame as one of the world’s greatest trumpeters, demonstrating that the trumpet can be used as a solo instrument, like the violin or the piano.

He performed both traditional and contemporary concertos by Alexander Arutiunian and others. 

Some of his albums have been re-released on CD. His love of opera influenced his distinct style and tone, and this operatic influence remained a constant in his playing.

From 1992 through 1999, he delivered seminars at the International Trumpet Days in Bremen, Germany.

9. Wynton Marsalis (1961-Present)

Marsalis at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center Seventh Annual Jazz Festival in 2009
Marsalis at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center Seventh Annual Jazz Festival in 2009

Wynton Learson Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, educator, and creative director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has promoted classical and jazz music to a wide range of listeners, including children and teenagers.

As the lone black musician in the New Orleans Civic Orchestra, he played trumpet in public. 

He performed Joseph Haydn’s trumpet concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic after winning a music competition at the age of fourteen.

Marsalis became the center’s creative director and the band’s musical director, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Marsalis has nine Grammy Awards to his credit, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning work Blood on the Fields was the first jazz composition to do so. He is the only performer to win Grammys for jazz and classical music in the same year.

Marsalis was the first musician to win Grammy Awards in both jazz and classical music in the same year at 22.

For his oratorio Blood on the Fields, he became the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1997.

Wynton Marsalis has been awarded an NEA Jazz Master and has received the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal. He was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace in 2001. 

8. Maurice Andre (1933-2012)

Maurice Andre. Greatest trumpet soloist of all time
Maurice Andre. Greatest trumpet soloist of all time

Maurice André was a classically trained trumpet player from France.

André was sent to the conservatory by his father. He joined a military band to gain free admission to the conservatory. He got his first prize after only six months at the conservatory.

Together with Theo Mertens, Maurice André won the Geneva International Music Competition in 1955 and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1963.

André rose to international fame in the 1960s and 1970s with a series of Erato and other label recordings of baroque compositions on piccolo trumpet.

He also performed several transcriptions for oboe, flute, voice, and string instruments.

From the mid-1950s through his death, André made approximately 300 audio recordings. He was a trumpet professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where he pioneered the teaching of the piccolo trumpet and the Baroque trumpet repertoire.

André died on February 25, 2012, at the age of 78, in a Bayonne hospital and was buried in the cemetery of Saint-André-Capcèze (in the Lozère).

7. Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006)

Maynard Ferguson performing
Maynard Ferguson performing

Walter Maynard Ferguson CM was a trumpeter and bandleader from Canada. Before founding his big band in 1957, he rose to popularity in Stan Kenton’s orchestra

His bands were known for their skill with multiple instruments and performing in a high register.

Ferguson worked as a principal trumpeter for Paramount Pictures for three years in 1953. He was on 46 soundtracks, including The Ten Commandments, which he co-wrote.

Ferguson composed the theme music for the ABC adventure drama television series Straightaway from 1961 to 1962.

Maynard Ferguson returned to mainstream jazz in 1988 to celebrate his 60th birthday. Big Bop Nouveau, a nine-piece band, was formed due to this.

In 2003, Ferguson became a Member of the Order of Canada. Ferguson won the Down Beat Readers’ Poll for the most excellent trumpeter in 1950, 1951, and 1952.

He was elected into Down Beat’s Jazz Hall of Fame in 1992. Rowan University established the ‘Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz Studies’ in 2000, the same year it awarded Ferguson his only Honorary Doctorate. The Rowan Jazz Program, which trains young jazz artists, is supported by the Institute. 

On August 23, 2006, Ferguson passed away. Soon after his passing, Maynard Ferguson’s band reformed for a tribute concert, headed by trumpeters Wayne Bergeron, Patrick Hession, Walter White, and Eric Miyashiro.

6. Clifford Benjamin Brown (1930-1956)

Clifford Benjamin Brown in 1956
Clifford Benjamin Brown in 1956

Clifford Benjamin Brown was a jazz trumpeter and composer from the United States. “Sandu,” “Joy Spring,” and “Daahoud,” among other songs, have become jazz standards. 

Brown was named New Star of the Year in the DownBeat magazine Critics’ Poll in 1954.

The founding of Art Blakey’s Quintet, which would later become the Jazz Messengers, was one of the most notable events during Brown’s time in New York. 

Blakey created the quintet with Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver, and Curley Russell, and the quartet’s first recording was recorded live at the Birdland jazz club. Brown & Roach, Inc. and Study in Brown were two companies involved in the Brown/Roach collaboration.

Scott Yanow called the album At Basin Street, released in 1956, a “hard bop classic” and “highly recommended.”

Brown and Richie Powell drove to Chicago for their next performance in June 1956. Clifford and Richie could sleep because Powell’s wife Nancy was driving.

She is believed to have lost control of the automobile while driving in the rain on the Pennsylvania Turnpike west of Bedford at night, killing all three in the ensuing crash. Brown is buried in Wilmington, Delaware’s Mt. Zion Cemetery.

5. Doc Severinsen (1927-Present)

Severinsen in a 1974 publicity photo for The Tonight Show
Severinsen in a 1974 publicity photo for The Tonight Show

“Doc” Severinsen is an American jazz trumpeter who played with Johnny Carson’s band on The Tonight Show. Severinsen was given the nickname Doc after his father, Arlington’s only dentist.

 In 1949, Severinsen worked as a studio musician for NBC. He was a member of the original band for Tonight, Starring Steve Allen, and played the closing theme solo.

Severinsen began releasing significant band recordings in the early 1960s, then transitioned to instrumental pop music by the end of the decade. He recorded jazz-funk, then disco in the 1970s, with successes including “Night Journey” and “I Wanna Be With You.”

In 1985, he released an album with Hebron’s jazz fusion band. Severinsen recorded The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen the following year, winning the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance.

He performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” on national television on at least three occasions. 

The public at Tulane Stadium went out for a minute when he accompanied actor Pat O’Brien for performing in the National Anthem at Super Bowl IV, though fans were unaware.

Due to roping issues, a giant American flag on the side of the Fantasy Tower at Caesar’s Palace overlooking the outdoor ring did not properly unfurl fifteen years later when he performed the anthem again before the Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns fight.

At the Major League Baseball All-Star Tournament in 1989 in California, he performed the anthem and “O Canada.”

4. Miles Davis (1926-1991)

Davis in his New York City home, by Tom Palumbo
Davis in his New York City home, by Tom Palumbo

Miles Dewey Davis III was a bandleader, trumpeter, and composer from the United States. Miles Davis recorded some of the first complex bop music on Prestige Records in the early 1950s, but he did so clumsily due to heroin addiction.

He alternated between symphonic jazz collaborations with arranger Gil Evans, like as the Spanish music-influenced Sketches of Spain (1960), and band records like Milestones (1958) and Kind of Blue (1960). (1959).

He experimented with rock, funk, and African rhythms and developed electronic music technology during the 1970s.

Davis recorded Kind of Blue in March and April 1959, and it is often regarded as his best album. He titled the album after the feeling it evoked.

Since 1960, he has received eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Mike Dibb’s two-hour documentary film The Miles Davis Story earned an International Emmy Award for best arts documentary of the year in 2001.

Mike died at the age of 65. A stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure were all factors that contributed to his death.

3. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)

Gillespie performing in 1955
Gillespie performing in 1955

American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and performer John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser built on Roy Eldridge’s virtuosic technique.

He contributed dimensions of harmonic and rhythmic intricacy to jazz that had never been heard before. His wit, charisma, and musicianship made him a vital popularizer of the new music known as bebop.

Along with Charlie Parker, Gillespie was a crucial figure in developing bebop and modern jazz in the 1940s.

Gillespie was involved in the Afro-Cuban music movement in the late 1940s, which brought Afro-Latin American music and components to more considerable prominence in jazz and even mainstream music, particularly salsa.

In 1989 Gillespie received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Gillespie received the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award in 1991, which Awards Council member Wynton Marsalis awarded.

At 75, Gillespie died of pancreatic cancer on January 6, 1993.

2. Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

Armstrong in 1953
Armstrong in 1953

Louis Daniel Armstrong was an American trumpeter and vocalist known by the nicknames “Satchmo,” “Satch,” and “Pops.” He is one of jazz’s most influential figures.

His rich, gravelly voice is instantly recognizable. He also had a talent for scat singing. Armstrong is well-known for his captivating stage appearance, vocals, and trumpet playing.

Armstrong starred alongside Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra in films such as High Society (1956) and Hello, Dolly! (1969), both starring Barbra Streisand.

Armstrong was a member of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, which had “Potato Head Blues” and “Muggles.” “Muggles” was slang for marijuana, which he frequently used throughout his life. 

They made a total of twenty-four records.

During the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, Armstrong revolutionized jazz. Armstrong had 19 “Top Ten” records during this time, including “Stardust,” “What a Wonderful World,” “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “You Rascal You,” and “Stompin’ at the SSavoy.”

With “Hello, Dolly!” in 1964, Armstrong dethroned The Beatles from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Armstrong received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1972.

1. Arturo Sandoval (1949 – Present)

Arturo Sandoval at the 1984 International Jazz Festival in Prague
Arturo Sandoval at the 1984 International Jazz Festival in Prague

Arturo Sandoval is a trumpeter, pianist, and composer of Cuban and American descent. Sandoval was influenced by jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie while growing up in Cuba.

He began playing trumpet with street musicians in Cuba when he was twelve. Sandoval was a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, which became Irakere in 1973.

He was named Cuba’s Best Instrumentalist in 1982 and 1984, and he performed as a guest performer with the BBC and the Leningrad Symphony Orchestras.

Sandoval was invited to join the United Nations Orchestra by Gillespie in 1989. On December 7, 1998, he became an American citizen.

Sandoval has worked with Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, and Chico O’Farrill in Latin jazz, Cuban music in Miami, and classical music in England and Germany.

Based on his life, Andy Garcia starred in the film ‘For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story’ (2000). And she won an Emmy Award for it.

Garcia’s song “A Mis Abuelos” (To My Grandparents) received Grammy Award nominations for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Arrangement.

Famous trumpet players who taught in college:

  •  Arturo Sandoval

Sandoval taught at Florida International University and Whitworth University as the jazz ensemble director.

  • Maurice Andre

He was a trumpet professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where he pioneered the teaching of the piccolo trumpet and the Baroque trumpet repertoire.

  • Doc Severinsen

Severinsen conducted many American orchestras as the principal pop conductor during and after his time on The Tonight Show. Severinsen retired from conducting in 2007 and was named Pops Conductor Emeritus in Milwaukee and Pops Conductor Laureate in Minnesota.

In 2001 and 2002, Severinsen was named Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at Arizona State University School of Music and Katherine K. Herberger Heritage Chair for Visiting Artists.

  • Alan Vizzutti

Vizzutti has taught at the University of Washington’s Eastman School of Music, the Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas State University, West Texas State University, the University of South Carolina, and the University of North Texas Skidmore Jazz Institute, and Bremen’s Trompeten Akademie.

  • Timofei Alexandrowitsch Dokschizer

From 1994 to 1999, Dokschizer taught at the International Trumpet Academy in Bremen, Germany.

Famous trumpet players who danced:

  1. Maynard Ferguson
  2. Bill Coleman
  3. Louis Armstrong
  4. Sylvester Ahola
  5. Ziggy Elman
  6. Charlie Spivak 

Famous trumpet players who used 3c:

  1. Bobby Shew
  2. Alyosha Het
  3. Burn Barrel


Today, the trumpet is a staple in classical music, rock, pop, and jazz. Musicians around the world have played the instrument in various ways for years.

They have been providing entertainment limitlessly over the years. And as a result of that, we can look back over the greatest trumpet legends.

In the jazz genre, the trumpet is one of the most delicate instruments to play, ad all the credit goes to the player’s mastery over the instrument. Some of the world’s renowned musicians are trumpet players.

These legends have been influencing music throughout different cultures. Their musicianship and skills have left an undeniable mark in the music industry.

Musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Arturo Sandoval, etc., ended up in this list because of their originality and versatility and their impact and influence within and beyond the genre.

Their ability for improvisation, innovations, and musical expression, combined with their composition and creative inspiration skills, is why they are still cherished and respected by the world in the music industry.

1 thought on “20 Best Jazz Trumpet Players of All Time”

  1. I had the privilege of performing onstage with Rafael Mendez. In the mid-1960s I believe he made it a practice to work with college and high school bands.

    He came to our school for a week (had to be 1966 because I was a 15 year old sophomore) and worked with us on several of his famous pieces. At the end of the week we had a concert. It was an unforgettable experience. I thought you might want to add something about his dedication to teaching kids. He also made some teaching videos for students. Good stuff.


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