Lukas Frei

January 21, 2017

Meet Allison Philips

How did you become a trumpet player?
I started playing trumpet in the 3rd grade, but my fascination started about a year before. In 2nd grade for African American History Month, I wrote a report on Louis Armstrong. As a kid, I grew up watching VHS’s of old movie musicals, and one of my favorites was “High Society” which is probably where I got the idea. I also remember watching “Cabin in the Sky” as “research.”
My parents always had WBGO on in the car but were not musical themselves. So in 3rd grade, there was this add in the school newsletter, a high school student looking for beginner trumpet students, and my mom gave her a call. The rest is history!

Did you play other instruments before the trumpet? If so, did those instruments inform how you played trumpet? Or did your view of how music is played change once becoming a trumpeter?
I had zero musical training before I started playing the trumpet. Any knowledge of how music fit together didn’t really happen until I started really studying jazz. 

Were there recordings in the beginning and even years into learning the instrument that drew you into the trumpet’s sound and possibilities?
I think in the extreme beginning definitely the recordings of Louis Armstrong with Ella Fitzgerald played a big role. When I first started getting into jazz and learning how to improvise I was definitely very into the early Jazz Messengers stuff, especially Moanin’ with Lee Morgan and then Clifford Brown on the Live at Birdland Album. I was super lucky to have two great trumpet teachers throughout high school to point me in the right direction. Tatum Greenblatt was my private instructor, and then every Saturday I got to hang with the former jazz messenger Valery Ponomarev at the NJPAC Jazz For Teens program in Newark. Both of those guys hipped me to quite a few great records.  The Dexter Gordon album Homecoming Live at The Village Vanguard with Woody Shaw was also a biggie. I also, sort of by accident, came across the self-titled Booker Little album when I was around 14 or 15, he’s definitely been a huge influence since then. 

If you had to identify with one or two gurus, trumpeters or otherwise, who had the greatest impact on your musical journey to date, whom would they be?
Oof, that’s a tough question. I’ve been super lucky to get to study with a whole bunch of trumpet gurus over the years.
I was incredibly lucky to study with the biggest guru of them all, Laurie Frink, my first two years at the New School. I like to think she taught me how to practice. The idea of gradually challenging yourself, and changing your routine as you evolve, so you continue to grow is something I think about every day.
The second two years of my time at The New School my primary teacher was Ingrid Jensen, who’s style of teaching was very different than Laurie’s, but incredibly complimentary. I think Ingrid was incredibly instrumental in helping me develop my own voice on the horn. It was Ingrid who gave me the idea to do my masters in Europe.

Who is your favorite trumpeter today and what song best exemplifies why this trumpeter is so inspiring?
Also a tricky question. I find myself going back to Avishai Cohen quite a bit. His playing on the Mark Turner Quartet album Lathe of Heaven is amazing. His first album “The Trumpet Player” was also a pretty big game changer for me when I first heard it. Ron Miles is another guy who I have not checked out nearly enough.

January 2, 2017

Laurie Frink & Brass Pedagogy

The recording of the panel discussion about Laurie Frink and her Brass Pedagogy was released as a “A Noise From The Deep” podcast on Greenleaf Music.

«In this episode four great trumpeters: Nadje Noordhuis, Michael Rodriguez, Dave Ballou and Keyon Harrold, along with myself, discuss their experiences and practices of studying with Laurie Frink! The discussion was recorded at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in NYC on September 25 in front of a live audience. It also includes recordings of Laurie herself playing and talking. This was a great tribute to a great teacher, but also a living demonstration that Laurie’s lessons live on with all of us!» – Dave Douglas

Listen to the complete podcast here:


December 22, 2016

Celebrate, Challenge & Support

Dear Friends,

Each year at FONT Music, we widen our embrace of trumpet artists with emerging voices, pioneering voices, voices that remind us of our histories, and voices that challenge our notion of diversity and ideas of evolution. This year we had a chorus of progressive sound resonating throughout this city and we thank you for joining us for FONT 2016.

Our theme this year was Flexus; a philosophy of music that embraces complete flexibility in musical approach and execution. Flexus represents our belief in constantly emerging forms, and in our need to broaden the understanding of the possibilities of human potential through music. Your support of a tax-deductible donation helps sustain this work – presenting and supporting new ways of thinking about music, life and the world in which we live.

Creative evolution fulfills our highest human potential, and every year we shine a spotlight on some the the brilliant voices that are evolving the trumpet scene today. Thank you to our partners, volunteers, and to all of you who are supporting our efforts to continue giving a voice to this astonishing music community. We’re glad you’re here.

We look forward to seeing you in 2017,

FONT Music

October 17, 2016

Festival 2016 in review

A review in pictures of the 14th edition of our festival

Monday – September 19, 2016
Threes Brewing, Brooklyn

Tuesday – September 20, 2016
Threes Brewing, Brooklyn

Wednesday – September 21, 2016
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Friday – September 23, 2016
The New School – The Auditorium, Manhattan

Saturday – September 24, 2016
The New School – The Auditorium, Manhattan

Sunday – September 24, 2016
The New School, Manhattan

All pictures by Lukas Frei

October 9, 2016

Thank you for a great Festival!


Thank you for sharing another inspiring year of forward-looking, engaged music making for the trumpet!

Trumpeters Dave Douglas, Stephanie Richards, Marquis Hill, Taylor Ho Bynum, Michael Gurfield, Aaron Shragge and John Blevins all contributed their unique visions to this year’s forward-looking program in venues across New York City.

Thanks to all this year’s musicians for their vision, inspiration and dedication! And thanks to all of our supporters and those who recognize the importance of new creative music for the trumpet. Your donations helped support over 20 performances, workshops and commissions, including a tribute to the always inspiring John McNeil.

Stay tuned for pictures, video and a special podcast from the festival as we share them over the next few months on our blog and social media. Enjoy a sneak peek below of some of the highlights of the last few days of the festival.

September 16, 2016

Festival opens Sept 19

Are you ready?  

Flexus 2016 opens on September 19 and 20 at Threes Brewing and closes on Sunday September 25 with our concert honoring John McNeil with FONT Music’s Award of Recognition. 

Festival Highlights

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Just released

New York Times Pick of the Week!

Get A Festival Pass!

Still time to get a Festival Pass for access to all events of the 2016 FONT Music Festival.

September 13, 2016

Honoring John McNeil – Sept 25

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

Honoring John McNeil

Sunday, September 25, 5:00 pm, BY DONATION. The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, Room I-202, 55 West 13th Street

  • Anxiety Option (for trumpet, flugelhorn, and electronics). Written and performed by Jeff Beal
  • Presentation of the FONT Music Award of Recognition to John McNeil
  • Presentation of the Laurie Frink Career Grant to Tony Glausi
  • John McNeil and Ensemble: Gary Versace, piano; Jerome Harris, bass; Jay Sawyer, drums. Joined by Tony Glausi and others.

Help FONT Music support a diverse community of emerging artists and creative pioneers by donating to Honoring John McNeil and reserve your spot at this special presentation.

Also please join us for this panel before the performance:

Laurie Frink and Brass Pedagogy

Sunday, September 25, 3:00 pm, Free. The New School, Glass Box Performance Space, Arnhold Hall, 1st floor, 55 West 13th Street
Moderated by Nadje Noordhuis. Panelists include past Laurie Frink students Keyon Harrold, Michael Rodriguez, Dave Ballou, and Dave Douglas.

Festival Pass

Get a FESTIVAL PASS to guarantee a spot at every show at the 2016 Festival.
Only $100
to attend all ticketed events Sept 19-25.

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Single Event Tickets

The 2016 Festival also features trumpeters Marquis Hill, Theo Croker, Maurice Brown, Jason Palmer, Darren Barrett, Ingrid Jensen, Wadada Leo SmithTaylor Ho Bynum, and more.

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September 8, 2016

Visionaries – Sept 19-20

Get Tickets Now For Two Nights of Visionaries at Threes Brewing

The Festival of New Trumpet Music joins the monthly concert series Music for Wing Walkers with two nights of music that expand the idea of what a trumpet player can do and highlight musical innovation that defies genres.

Visionaries Night 1

September 19 — 8:00 pm
Threes Brewing, 333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn

Trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis and percussionist James Shipp

Kenny Warren Quartet – Kenny Warren (trumpet), JP Schlegelmilch (piano), Noah Garabedian (bass), Satoshi Takeishi (drums)

Trumpeter Ralph Alessi with the Wing Walker Orchestra

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Visionaries Night 2

September 20 — 8:00 pm
Threes Brewing, 333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn

Aaron Shragge and Eli Asher Trumpet Duo

Shane Endsley Quartet – Shane Endsley (trumpet), Dave Devine (guitar), Greg Garrison (bass), Matt Houston (drums)

Shane Endsley fronts the Wing Walker Orchestra

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September 1, 2016

Night of Large Ensembles – Sept 24

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 7pm
The New School, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street, New York

Wadada Leo Smith and “Rosa Parks”

Wadada Leo Smith leads the presentation of his composition “Rosa Parks – Oratorio, 6 Songs with Video” performed by a 12-piece ensemble, featuring Ted Daniel, Hugh Ragin, and Graham Haynes. The oratorio is Wadada’s meditation on the Civil Rights movement and through the use of light and video images, it reconnects history with the present.

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Taylor Ho Bynum and his PlusTet

Taylor Ho Bynum’s PlusTet is a fifteen-piece ensemble made up of some of his closest collaborators, including Tomeka Reid and Nicole Mitchell. The PlusTet presents Bynum’s unique take on the creative orchestra tradition. This NYC debut of this all-star band celebrates the release of “Enter the PlusTet” (Firehouse 12 Records).

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The 2016 Festival of New Trumpet Music also features performances by trumpeters John McNeil, Marquis Hill, Theo Croker, Maurice Brown, Jason Palmer, Darren Barrett, Ingrid Jensen, Shane Endsley, Nadje Noordhuis, Kenny Warren, Ralph Alessi, and many more.
Check out the full schedule for more information and tickets.

August 30, 2016

Thank you!

Thank you very much for your support!

We raised over 4000$ with our crowdfunding campaign to support Marquis Hill’s project «Signatures in Brass». Great to see so many people help making unique projects happen. We can’t wait to hear the new music Marquis is writing for this group featuring Theo Croker, Maurice Brown, Jason Palmer, Darren Barrett and Ingrid Jensen.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for September 21 or 22 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola now!

Wednesday, September 21
Thursday, September 22