The Festival of New Trumpet Music is committed to the support of new music by a diverse community of trumpet and brass players, and the presentation of their work to the public.
The Festival aims to promote opportunity, encourage diversity, and enable community for and among trumpet players and those with whom they work. Through programming and educational events, FONT Music strives towards three main goals:
- Celebrating and promoting the diversity of contemporary music related to the trumpet by presenting the broadest possible idea of what a trumpet player can do.
- Confronting and challenging traditional boundaries of gender, race, and culture in the music field by presenting the broadest possible idea of who a trumpet player can be.
- Supporting emerging artists and creative pioneers through concerts, commissions, and other opportunities.
The executive board of FONT Music works with trumpet players and composers to assist them in realizing their artistic vision. By connecting artists with venues, funding and promotional resources, FONT Music attempts to make this process as open and collaborative as possible.
The Festival’s work is centered on the production of a two festival of concerts and workshops held annually in New York City in September, as well as off-season and satellite events, and collaborative artist services. FONT also presents an annual Award of Recognition to a distinguished trumpet player who has made an important contribution to the instrument.
The FONT Music Executive Board and staff are working trumpet players committed to expanding the opportunities for our instrument as well as for our fellow musicians. We embrace the process of collaboration with other players and composers that comes with producing FONT Music as it deepens our understanding of what is possible. Following are brief descriptions of the projects that keep the FONT Music staff busy when we’re not producing the Festival.
FONT Executive Board
President/Co-Founder – Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas is a prolific trumpeter, composer and educator from New York City.
His unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award and two Grammy nominations. Douglas has developed his work for several unique ensembles with whom he’s currently active, including his new quintet, an electric sextet (Keystone), and Sound Prints Quintet, co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano. His new quintet released its debut recording, Be Still, in September 2012 with singer Aoife O’Donovan, the first time Douglas has featured a vocalist on a recording. The follow-up to that critically-acclaimed recording, Time Travel, was released in April 2013.
Since 2005, Douglas has operated his own record label, Greenleaf Music, releasing his own recordings as well as albums by other artists in the jazz idiom. Through his artist-friendly approach and innovative practices, he continues to prove himself a pioneer in new music marketing and delivery methods for the jazz world and among artist-run labels.
Douglas has held several posts as an educator and impresario. From 2002 to 2012, he served as artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at The Banff Centre in Canada. He is a co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2012. In 2013, he begins his second year as International Jazz Artist in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London and launches his own Jazz Workshop, dedicated to enriching the musical experiences of younger players.
Vice President – Stephanie Richards
Exploring the space between new music, improvisation and performance art, trumpeter and composer Stephanie Richards examines the physical, visual and auditory interactions of live music performance. As reflected in recently commissioned works, Rotations for twelve choreographed musicians and carousel and Trading Futures for six hundred found sound surfaces, Stephanie’s theatrical tendencies often result in compositional collaborations of sound, sight and movement. Stephanie has become a prominent voice in experimental improvisation, collaborating with artists such as improvisational pioneers Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, composer Helmut Lachenmann and performance artists Mike Kelly and Yoko Ono. As a founding member of Asphalt Orchestra, created by the new music collective Bang on a Can, Stephanie has worked with David Byrne, St. Vincent, Susan Marshall, Tyondai Braxton among others, and performed alongside Kronos Quartet, The Pixies and hip hop artists Kanye West, A-Trak and Common. Championing new music for brass, Stephanie has premiered works from stages such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Barbican, the Blue Note NYC, the Guggenheim Museum and others. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, McGill University, California Institute of the Arts and has held residency at Stanford University. In addition to performing and composing, Stephanie encourages the performance and commissioning of new music and jazz as Vice-President of the Festival of New Trumpet (FONT).
Co-Curator – Jeremy Pelt
Jeremy Pelt has become one of the preeminent young trumpeters within the world of jazz. Forging a bond with the Mingus Big Band very early on, as his career progressed, Pelt built upon these relationships and many others which eventually lead to collaborations with some of the genre’s greatest masters. These projects include performances and recordings with Cliff Barbaro, Keter Betts, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Ravi Coltrane, Frank Foster, Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Vincent Herring, John Hicks, Charli Persip, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Bobby Short, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess, Nancy Wilson and The Skatalites, to name a few.
Pelt frequently performs alongside such notable ensembles as the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Big Band, and is a member of the Lewis Nash Septet and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes. As a leader, Pelt has recorded ten albums and has toured globally with his various ensembles, appearing at many major jazz festivals and concert venues.
Pelt’s recordings and performances have earned him critical acclaim, both nationally and internationally. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal by legendary jazz writer and producer, Nat Hentoff, and was voted Rising Star on the trumpet, five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association. Pelt is currently touring throughout the United States and Europe in support of his latest release, “Water And Earth” (High Note Records, January 2013).
Secretary – Aaron Shragge
Aaron Shragge has been greatly inspired from the practice and study of the ancient musical traditions of North India and Japan. Shragge has a BFA in Jazz and Contemporary Music from New School University has a Master’s in Music therapy at New York University. Aaron Shragge has performed with multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, Ben Monder, Jon Gibson, The Sam Roberts Band, Akim Funk Buddha, and Medeski Martin and Wood’s Billy Martin at such venues as Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Blue Note, CBGB’s and The Tenri Cultural Institute. He has studied improvisation with Kenny Werner, and is currently studies shakuhachi with Grand Master’s Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin, Japanese Master Yodo Kurahashi II and North Indian vocals with Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan. His current projects include a duo with Ben Monder, a Jazz quintet that plays the music of Tom Waits and new solo works for Shakuhachi/Dragon Mouth Trumpet.