Twenty years ago, FONT Music began at the bar of Tonic, where Roy Campbell, Jr. and I conspired all those years ago. To spread the diversity of people playing the instrument, to engage in new ideas of what trumpet music is and can be, to honor great pioneers of the instrument in our community.
In the two decades since, our grassroots non-profit has created hundreds of meaningful social and musical experiences for the trumpet community and beyond, and we’ve celebrated ideas that are new, different, in and out, for every step of the way.
Since 2003, the Festival of New Trumpet Music has presented:
- over 600 trumpet players
- over 300 premiers of new pieces and ensembles
- over 40 commissions of new music
- reached over 100,000+ audience members
Today we celebrate these milestones, and we reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2021, we reached gender parity, male and female artists were presented in equal numbers. This important development continues the festival’s dedication to the broadest possible view of what constitutes trumpet music. There is always more work to do, but this is a wonderful development for the field.
Our 2021 virtual shows were wonderful, with new groups formed and new music presented. Hermon Mehari, Balkan Paradise Orchestra, Axel Dörner, Milena Casado, Kalí Rodriguez-Peña, Gunhild Seim, Sarah Wilson, Richard Nant, Birgit Ulher, Verneri Pohjola, Audrey Powne, Suzan Veneman, Lukas Frei, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Lina Allemano, Emily Kuhn, D’DAT Indigenous Performance Productions feat. Delbert Anderson, Adam Cuthbert, Mao Sone, and Mary Elizabeth Bowden were among trumpeters who brought great new music to our events.
We awarded legendary Randy Brecker with our adulation.
Yazz Ahmed presented a live masterclass in partnership with Seattle JazzEd, El Paso Jazz Girls, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, WIJO (Women in Jazz Organization), and Jazz St. Louis Education.
All together FONT Music 2021 reached over 16,000 people and was viewed over 20,000 times for a total of 51,000 minutes!
And we continued the mission that began at the bar of Tonic, where Roy Campbell, Jr. and I conspired all those years ago. To share the diversity of people playing the instrument, to engage in new ways the idea of what trumpet music is and can be, to honor great pioneers of the instrument in our community.
The strength of our community is its diversity of artistic voices and the spaces in which they are presented. Together, we explore the common ground to be found in the juxtaposition of style and genre; culture and identity.
All I can say further is, BRING ON 2022!