Lukas Frei

September 19, 2022

On The Books – Festival 2022

After 20 seasons of promoting contemporary, emerging, and pioneering new music involving the trumpet, it was electrifying, and gratifying, to present another all new season in this long running series. One in which we honored Enrico Rava with our Award of Recognition — I had the supreme honor of getting to interview Enrico, definitely a fun listen. In addition, we got to honor two esteemed colleagues: board member Jeremy Pelt tipped his hat to Dizzy Reece, and Executive Dean of the College of Performing Arts at The New School Richard Kessler spoke warmly of Doc Severinsen from our community of trumpeters and music makers. Long overdue honors.

Trophy for Enrico Rava made by Josh Landress of J. Landress Brass

Virtual Shows! One of the things from our Brass Without Borders series’ that developed during the pandemic times — we can invite and commission artists from all around the world! Our opening night featured three amazing composer/trumpeters from Ukraine. They each contributed original work, stunningly performed and sensitively captured on film. Thanks to Dennis AduYakiv Tsvietinskyi, and Dima Bondarev.

Live Shows! The Owl is a new-ish venue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn that I was unfamiliar with. I recommend it highly — it’s owned and operated by the singer, songwriter, guitarist and old pal Oren Bloedow. Trumpeter Sonny Singh presented his spiritually infectious new work there, from his album Chardi Kala. Opening was Laurie Frink Career Grant co-winner Alexandra Ridout, originally from the UK. Both sets were warm and wise. The intimate audience ate it up. It felt so great to be among them.

The New School on West 13th Street hosted two important in-person shows for us! The David Sanford Big Band played Sanford’s own riotous music, as well as a new piece from new-to-big-band-or-so-she-says composer Du Yun. Brass heavy and clamorous, the show jolted the packed house into prolonged applause. Trumpet soloist Hugh Ragin made a rare New York appearance. The band was kind of enough to also play a brand new work of mine, entitled “Gods of Guilt”, in reference to Michael Connelly’s fictional LA detective Hieronymus Bosch. This was a really special night with lots of music luminaries and friends in the house.

The following night we presented two tributes. Trumpeter Lessie Vonner honored us with a program dedicated to trumpeter and vocalist and (as I did not know) composer Cynthia Robinson of Sly and The Family Stone. The band was grooving hard, and in addition to vocal participation there were several bouts of spontaneous clapping to the beat with an absolute 100% participation rate. In addition, Aaron Shragge gave us a tribute to recently passed trumpeter Jon Hassell. Playing a specially modified slide trumpet and electric effects, Aaron really got at the vibe and atmosphere of Hassell’s work. Inviting Nadje Noordhuis up as a special guest added to the magical aura of the gig. Nadje had shared a masterclass with us earlier in the day and it was great to hear her play. Nadje, along with Lois Martin, is an integral part of the Laurie Frink Career Grant board. The second co-winner this year is Jason Charos. Winners receive crucial support toward their educational goals.

Live Music! Super thrilled to present alongside The Jazz Gallery. Supremely expressive trumpeter Keyon Harrold put together a project called Gen Next and brought a whole bunch of incredibly talented young players to the stage. A rousing display of craft and heart. Loved being in the room with that energy and that music.

There are additional virtual performances by:

All of these sets remain in the archive, along with previous years, at Festival of New Trumpet Music.

Festival of New Trumpet Music is a project I work on all year long with a dedicated and talented crew — and an all volunteer board. Visit our website to read the history. We’re just elated to be able to support the field. No trumpeter ever called to give me a gig when I first came to town. We’ve aimed to change that and support each other. We’ve also aimed to expand the perception of who a trumpeter can be and what they can do. And through their music, the artists presented here expanded the idea of what roles the instrument can inhabit in music. We plan to continue supporting art and artists. Please join us if you can!

Thanks for listening.
Dave Douglas, director, FONT Music

August 23, 2022

Jaimie Branch. 1983-2022.

Yesterday we lost one of our community. A unique creative force and beautiful soul is gone far too soon.

“Jaimie Branch could conjure a world of personal expression with her trumpet, sounding brash and conflagratory one moment, bleary and contemplative the next. What she always conveyed with her horn, in any setting, was an absolute whole-body conviction. One reason she became a beloved linchpin of the creative music community over the last decade was this spirit of gutsy intensity. (…) She was a welcome presence on the Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York, which presented her as early as 2007, and on multiple occasions since.” – Nate Chinen, NPR

“She brought us so many insights into how the trumpet could engage in the music differently,” trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas, the founder of Festival of New Trumpet Music, tells NPR. “She had a vision for synthesizing the voices of her inspirations and taking them to new levels no one had thought possible. It’s a tragic loss for our community.”

We will miss you immensely ❤️

“All the music that ever was and ever will be is here now. It exists in a cloud just above our heads and when we play, we pluck it out of the ether for a lil while before sending it back up.” – Jaimie Branch

📷 Festival of New Trumpet Music 2018, by Lukas Frei

July 16, 2022

Announcing of the 20th Anniversary Festival

In September, we’re celebrating our 20th season and the return to live concerts in New York. The program of the anniversary festival is extremely diverse, including both established artists and new talents. The diversity is also reflected in the variety of music.

In addition to live concerts, the “Brass Without Border” series will continue, allowing us to present artists from around the world at the festival.

December 28, 2021

2021 in review

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.

Click here for the complete archive of all performances from 2021

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!

Dave Douglas

Sculpture by Josh Landress of J. Landress Brass

June 4, 2021

Announcing Festival 2021

Festival Of New Trumpet Music 2021 announces Brass Without Borders, Sept 8-15, 2021

A Global Celebration Of The Extraordinary Diversity In Current Music For The Trumpet

For almost 20 years, the Festival Of New Trumpet Music has embraced innovation and the unheard. Led by Dave Douglas, this small festival defies stylistic categories and presents exciting music centered around the trumpet each year, in previous years at clubs and stages around New York City.

The pandemic-related all-digital version of 2020 was the occasion to be able to present trumpeters from all over the world for the first time. Now the format Brass Without Borders has become the theme of this year’s festival and once again brings together the worldwide trumpet community, at least virtually.

Festival of New Trumpet Music 2021 is particularly proud to support gender parity on the instrument and in the field. For the first time, male and female artists will be presented in equal numbers. This important development continues the festival’s dedication to the broadest possible view of what constitutes trumpet music, and who can make it. There is always more work to do, but this is a wonderful development for the field.

Randy Brecker (Photo: Ada Rovatti)

The annual Award of Recognition will be presented this year to trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker for his longtime contributions to the field.

Yazz Ahmed (Photo: John Jarrett)

Rounding out the exciting program is a workshop with British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed, which will be shared with Seattle JazzEd, El Paso Jazz Girls, Jazz St. Louis and other educational institutions from around the nation.

The final program will be announced on July 1st, 2021 and includes Axel Doerner (Germany), Verneri Pohjola (Finland), Suzan Veneman (Netherlands), Lukas Frei (Switzerland), Sheila Maurice-Grey (UK), Balkan Paradise Orchestra (Spain), Hermon Mehari (France/USA), Delbert Anderson and Indigenous Contemporary Arts Group (New Mexico), Lina Allemano (Canada), Mary Elizabeth Bowden (USA), Adam Cuthbert (USA), Emily Kuhn (USA) among others.

The entire 2020 festival is freely accessible in our archive at – including a very special episode celebrating Baikida Carroll.

December 20, 2020

Thank you!

This year has been wild and the future is uncertain. But we remain positive and look back on a successful first digital version of our festival.

Help us continue to promote, commission, and present new music for trumpet and brass with your tax-deductible end of year donation. THANK YOU for much appreciated support!

Thanks for joining us this year at the Festival of New Trumpet Music. We sincerely hope you enjoyed this entirely online edition of our celebration of the instrument. We plan to continue commissioning new players and new projects. With your help, we will be back with more. If you can, please consider donating.

Thanks to this great community of musicians for all their dedication and vision. And thanks to you — so much — for listening and being part of this community.

In eternal gratitude for Roy Campbell, Jr.


Dave Adewumi, Yazz Ahmed, Aurélien Barnes, John-Michael Bradford, Summer Camargo, Baikida Carroll, Cam Clark, Ray Colom, Tomasz Dąbrowski, Dave Douglas, Laurie Frink, Noah Halpern, Bruce Harris, Freddie Hendrix, Ashton Hines, Nabaté Isles, Ingrid Jensen, Laura Jurd, Christine Kamau, Cole Kamen-Green, Ellen Kirkwood, Noel Langley, Mariano Loiácono, Riley Mulherkar, Satoru Ohashi, Ashlin Parker, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, Reid Poole, Michael Rodriguez, Chloe Rowlands, Bria Skonberg, Rachel Therrien, Ivan Trujillo, Lessie Vonner, Brandon Woody, Raphael Zimmermann, Ndabo Zulu


Dave Douglas, Tyler McDiarmid, Lukas Frei, Riley Mulherkar, Amy Norton, Suzannah Kincannon, Richard Johnson


Stephanie Richards, Jeremy Pelt, John Blevins, David Adewumi, Ingrid Jensen, Nabate Isles, Tom Anderson, Lewis Flip Barnes, Taylor Barnett, Taylor Ho Bynum, Richard Kessler, Richard Loyd, John McNeil, Nadje Noordhuis, Aaron Shragge, Erol Tamerman, Rick Gutierrez, Heather Sessler

FONT MUSlC gratefully acknowledges the support of


Jeff Beal, Michael Goldstein, Joey O’Loughlin, Rick & Erin Charitable Fund, Silicon Valley Foundation, and additional donations from listeners and supporters.


July 8, 2020

1st online edition

Two months from today, we are launching a very special edition of the Festival Of New Trumpet Music Online. Due to the current situation our festival will be all digital. Over 10 days we will present lots of exciting new music by trumpeters from near and far. Performances will be complemented by live talks and a workshop. We hope you will join us! Check out our website in the coming weeks for further information or sign up for our newsletter.

April 28, 2020

Trumpet Music on Bandcamp

On May 1st Bandcamp waives its share for the second time. This is a great time to buy music and support musicians. This date is also the release date for the latest album of our artistic director Dave Douglas.

Here’s a selection of productions by trumpeters

April 20, 2020

Baikida Carroll receives FONT Music Award of Recognition

Help us honor Baikida Carroll’s contribution to our instrument and community as we present the 2020 FONT Music Award Of Recognition, acknowledging Carroll as one of the most original and creative jazz artists in the world today. Carroll’s restless experimentation and stylistic versatility are an apt fit with our mission.

Festival of New Trumpet Music 2020, September 9-17

Mark your calendars, full program details including Bria Skonberg, Marcus Printup, The Westerlies, Freddie Hendrix, Rachel Therrien, and Laurie Frink Career Grant award, will be announced soon.

Along with all of New York, and the world, FONT Music looks to the reopening of music venues by September and will follow events closely.

January 4, 2020

FONT 2020

Happy 2020! Also this year there will be two editions of our festival. Next month we’ll start in the west and already present the 18th edition in September in the east.

All the details about FONT West in San Diego from 2 to 8 February 2020 can be found here

September 9, 2019

Seismic Belt: Samantha Boshnack Speaks


Trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack is one of many participating in the upcoming Festival of New Trumpet Music. Boshnack is bringing ‘Seismic Belt’ to the festival, a group performing music about the Ring of Fire, the seismic area located on the rim of the Pacific Ocean. This music, in Boshnack’s own words, “examines our relationship with the Earth, including the elements of risk and faith in that uneasy cohabitation. Movements of the work draw on influences from some of the cultures and people living on the Ring, including Chile, Japan, Alaska, Western Samoa, and Russia.” Over the course of a three-month Make Jazz Fellowship sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation in LA, Boshnack composed the work, and its premiere was released as Live in Santa Monica, on Orenda Records in March 2019.

Boshnack also leads and performs with a number of ensembles, and is a fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in California. Joining her at The Jazz Gallery for this performance during the Festival of New Trumpet Music will be Chris Credit (tenor/baritone saxophone), Jessica Pavone (violin/viola), Sarah Bernstein (violin), Kai Ono (piano) Lisa Hoppe (upright bass) and Jacob Shandling (drums). We spoke with Boshnack about the new work and her next steps.

The Jazz Gallery: What made you want to use the Pacific Rim and the Ring of Fire as a way of starting a conversation about our relationship with the earth?

Samantha Boshnack: I live in Seattle which is on the Ring of Fire, the horseshoe of volcanic activity around the Pacific. Moving from New York, seeing volcanoes like Rainier and St. Helens, I was immediately floored by their grandeur. Summertime here is a great time to go traveling: I’ve been hiking around mountains in Oregon, I’ve been to Indonesia and Mexico, and always end up trying to get to a volcano. I put out a record in 2014 called Exploding Syndrome that was more focused on Mt. St. Helens–I wrote a suite about that explosion. I felt that there was a lot that could be done with the topic, and I wanted to do two things with it. First, I wanted to explore different cultures living on the Ring of Fire, because there’s so much to look at, including Eskimo music, Russian music, indigenous musics… You’ve got Japan, Chile, the Samoas. Second, I wanted to look at the science of the Ring, and try to portray that musically. We’re living through tumultuous times, and there are things we’ve done to the earth, but there’s an inherent risk of living on earth even without what we’ve done.

TJG: That brings to mind your phrase “Risk and faith in uneasy cohabitation.” So you were looking at music from cultures that live along the Ring of Fire?

SB: Yeah, and I hope to do more. I was interested in finding stories and coping methods from cultures that live on the Ring. I haven’t gotten as deep as I want to yet. It might be a stretch, but I do think people are influenced by where they live, so there must be something of that in the music of their respective cultures. I’m not necessarily saying they all have something in common, but in general, it’s fun to try to be inspired by types of music you’ve never heard. I’ve done a few projects where I was writing for people from different countries, and I liked that way of writing and preparing. Not stealing or even writing ‘in that style,’ but allowing yourself to be inspired by the musicality of another culture. I try to create music that speaks to the experience of dealing with the inherent danger of life, yet also trying to take in the good, the beauty.

TJG: What else has stood out for you in the differences between Atlantic and Pacific coasts? While traveling and research, what other specific things spoke to you?

SB: The idea of the duality of it all. You have these incredibly beautiful mountains that are so dangerous as well. That duality inspires me. When you travel to places in Oregon or Hawaii where there are lava fields or other barren places, it looks like another planet. The lava has burnt the ground and everything on it. It’s beautiful, it’s ugly, it makes you think.

TJG: Is this duality something you’ll talk about with your bandmates while working through this music? Or is it more on your mind while putting notes on the page?

SB: Once the music’s written, I bring it to the musicians and we work it out. They know what it’s about and it comes across, but the composition process is more where I’m tackling the subject matter, and I hope the musicians feel something from it.

TJG: The work was completed at 18th Street Arts Center in LA; What was the residency like for you?

SB: Incredible. It was a tight timeline: You show up at the beginning of February, and the final concert is in the middle of April, with one work-in-progress showing mid-March. It got there. There were no other things I had to do during that time. That’s partly why I wanted to have a topic, because having a specific goal in mind is a great way to delve into a composition project. Something to inspire you while doing work that might otherwise feel overwhelming. Every day, I was listening, researching, writing, and going out and finding the players I wanted to play with for the record. I didn’t know originally that I wanted it to be a record. First, we did the concert, then I got the nice live recording of it, so I released it. The LA jazz scene was great, and I was happy with my collaborators.

TJG: Did you have this Ring of Fire idea before the residency?

SB: Yes, I did apply with that idea. A lot of times, you get these ideas and then apply for things for years. Then something comes through and you get to do it. This is something I’ve been trying to do for a while, so I’m glad it happened [laughs].

TJG: Would you say the music has evolved, changed, grown, shifted as you’ve recorded and continued to perform it?

SB: For sure. Little things. It’s more refined. More instances of “Yeah, we did this on the recording, but maybe we could do it like this instead.” I’ve done this music in LA, Seattle, and one gig at Nublu in July, so this will be the second New York show. The New York players were really great, and of course everyone is different, so it brought a different flavor. There’s lots of improvisation, so that gives a chance for that flavor to come out. It’s different every time.

TJG: What are you looking forward to about this particular iteration at The Jazz Gallery?

SB: The second time is always a great thing. We’ve already rehearsed, we’ve already performed it, so now we can go deeper. You go further every time, of course. All the players are people I respect and admire. I’m honored to be at the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which I’ve dreamed of doing for years. Dave Douglas was a big influence on me starting in college, so I think it’s great that he does this festival.

As a composer, you’re always evolving. Sometimes you listen to your music and you hear elements that have always been there, and yet, they keep shifting and growing with you, your playing, your opportunities, your people. I think that this album is really me, and it feels true to myself. It pays homage to a region, and expresses things I wanted to express.

TJG: Tell me a little about the band that we’ll see at the Gallery.

SB: Chris Credit is flying out with me from Seattle, he plays in my Seattle band. We have Jessica Pavone on viola and viola and Sarah Bernstein on violin. They’re both really accomplished improvisers in New York. Jessica plays a lot with Mary Halvorson, and Sarah has her own great groups. I didn’t know those two string players before I came, but I wrote to Jessica because I’d heard of her and was a fan of her music. We’ll have a younger pianist named Kai Ono, who I actually met doing this string trio composition I’m working on through the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy. He’s in the Academy too, so I asked him to play piano. He sounds great. We’ll have a bassist who lives in New York but is from Germany, Lisa Hoppe. She has a group too and I love her writing. And a drummer named Jacob Shandling, a friend of a friend who brought a lot of excitement to the music on the Nublu gig. The chemistry was great in July, so I decided to keep working with this group.

TJG: What steps are you looking to take in the near future? Say, the next six months, with the band or in general.

SB: With the band, I’m hoping to make more things happen out in New York. I don’t have anything else on the books yet, but I’m trying. Outside of this project, I’m coming back to have my string trio played in Massachusetts. I’m doing a big chamber music writing project over the next year—I’m working with different poets on a topic called ‘Uncomfortable Subjects,’ things people think about but have trouble talking about. I have a lot of work to do on that. So those are my big writing things. I have some dates in Seattle with my quintet too. I play in a group called Alchemy Sound Project that plays on the east coast a lot. I’ll be playing with my mentor and teacher from Bard, Erica Lindsay, who wrote music which was funded by the Chamber Music of America New Jazz Works Grant. We’ll be recording that. The pianist in the group Sumi Tonooka also got the grant, so I’ll be playing with her too. So I’ll be out on the east coast a lot doing other people’s music, and then booking my own when I can. Sometimes you have things booked way out in advance, then other times things come together quickly and suddenly.

by Noah Fishman, The Jazz Gallery