A wellspring of innovative talent
“FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music), inspired by a casual conversation 20 years ago between Dave Douglas and the late Roy Campbell, Jr. at the now- defunct Tonic, continues to be a wellspring of innovative talent, making its first in-person appearance after three years of quarantine (Sep. 8th) at The Owl Music Parlor. The double bill commenced with the Alexandra Ridout Trio, the trumpeter a fresh transplant to NYC from London, accompanied by Iver Cardas (guitar) and Will Sach (bass). Warming up with an F blues in 7/4 and a lyrical piece moving inside and outside the key area, mixing rhythms, the energy gradually escalated, until, by the fifth number, an original titled “Ditty”, aptly introduced by bass, Ridout started to spin off louder, broader, more legato passages, dialing up the heat one degree more for the final number, a cover of Andrew Hill’s “Tired Trade”. Trumpeter/vocalist Sonny Singh played songs from his leader debut, Chardi Kala, a singular fusion of Sikh and Sufi poetry set to bhangra, qawwali, funk, reggae and other styles. Supported by Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Mackenzie Shivers (vocals/harmonium/ piano), Yuka Tadano (bass) and Rohin Khemani (drums/tabla), the opener, “Ghadar Machao”, driven by chicken-pickin’, rock-edged guitar, immediately proved politics and partying (can) go hand-in-hand. Bright and brash, Singh’s best trumpet work came on “Azad Azad”, his solo embodying the ‘freedom’ (of identity/music) implied by the title.”
Oct 1, 2022 – Tom Greenland, The New York City Jazz Record
Festival of New Trumpet Music Honors Randy Brecker, and “Brass Without Borders”
“The variety of things people are doing with this clump of metal never ceases to amaze me, so we go as wide as we can,” says Douglas. “And the fact that the festival is focused on an instrument and not a style of music means that it can be just about anything. We find new areas of work people are doing every year.”
“At 75 years old, one thing that makes me proud is when I hear that I have had some influence on some other musicians,” Brecker says. “It makes me just feel great.”
Festival Of New Trumpet Music – Preview
“Due to the current, still uncertain situation, the festival will take place for the second time in an online version. However, this format also allows trumpeters from all over the world to be included in the program, and so the motto of this year’s edition is Brass Without Borders. The eight-day virtual festival is curated by Dave Douglas and the active young trumpeter Riley Mulherkar, who has already made a name for himself with Wynton Marsalis and his quartet The Westerlies. (…) With Lukas Frei, there is also a Swiss in the program who will present his quartet. Frei is also one of the motors and coordinators of the festival, and he is also in charge of the social media areas and the website.”
Sept 1, 2021 – Jazz’n’more, Switzerland
Interview with Dave Douglas
“We have always been about escaping any boxes and genre/community boundaries. Last year we did the international series ‘Brass Without Borders.’ It was so powerful to connect globally that we decided to use this phrase as the title of the whole festival this year.”
Aug 17, 2021 – London Jazz News
Festival of New Trumpet Music West kicks off second anniversary on Sunday
The Festival of New Trumpet Music West 2020 will offer a week of concerts in San Diego by Curtis Taylor, Stephanie Richards, Hugh Ragin, Mark Dresser and more
Jan 30, 2020 – San Diego Union-Tribune
Festival of New Trumpet Music West celebrates emerging and established trumpeters
Jan 30, 2020 – San Diego Reader
The Festival Of New Trumpet Music West
The week-long Festival of New Trumpet Music West highlights new music by a diverse community of trumpet and brass players, showcasing the trumpet stylings of jazz, new music, New Orleans, and Slavic.
Jan 26, 2020 – San Diego Reader
Your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture
In my best musical dreams, I’ve played the trumpet like Miles Davis. That’s never going to happen, but I and you can appreciate trumpet playing at its most exhilarating via the Festival of New Trumpet Music West 2020.
Jan 30, 2020 – San Diego Union-Tribune
Josh Lawrence & Fresh Cut Orchestra at Dizzy’s Club
A memorable concert by Josh Lawrence, an excellent soloist/composer and this year’s recipient of the Roy Campbell Jr. Commissioning Program. He was in command of the Fresh Cut Orchestra, here rearranged for the occasion, in celebration of the trumpets of Philadelphia. Philly’s brass vibes wouldn’t be properly celebrated without a blues, and when that occasion arrived, the audience rejoiced. Congratulations to the Festival and its crew for another productive year.
Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C.
This annual expo of rising and established talent serves as a good indication of how diverse New York City’s improvised-music scene has become.
Aug 29, 2019 – The New York Times
Festival of New Trumpet Music West to debut in San Diego at eight venues in one week in January
After growing increasingly diverse and larger over the past 16 years in New York, the Festival of New Trumpet Music is ready to expand across the country for the first time.
Jan 5, 2019 – San Diego Union-Tribune
Jan 5, 2019 – Daily News
Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Dave Douglas has assembled a stylistically ambitious lineup for this year’s Festival of New Trumpet Music, welcoming some of the best-known trumpeters in improvised music as well as fresher faces.
Aug 30, 2018 – The New York Times
CONCERTS IN TOWN – Festival of New Trumpet Music
Founded in 2002 by the adventurous trumpeter Dave Douglas and a clutch of like-minded fellow-artists, the festival known as “FONT” celebrates its fifteenth year with a customarily far-flung range of performers representing jazz, classical music, Balkan traditions, and more. Presented at Manhattan and Brooklyn venues, events include an opening celebration with the groove-oriented ensembles High and Mighty Brass Band and Slavic Soul Party; a starry FONT retrospective; two evenings devoted to new music by Keyon Harrold, a bright young St. Louis trumpeter with impressive credentials in jazz and hip hop; and two more featuring the collaborative big band Wing Walker Orchestra.
Pop, Rock and Jazz in NYC This Week
FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Sept. 11- 12).
Since 2003, the trumpeter Dave Douglas has led the Festival of New Trumpet Music, an ecumenical celebration hitting its 15th year this week, with events on seven straight nights. Highlights include a five-trumpeter conclave on Saturday at the Stone’s glass box at the New School; an award ceremony and panel discussion on Sunday honoring Charles Tolliver, the postbop trumpeter; and this two-night run featuring Keyon Harrold, Marquis Hill and Maurice Brown, trumpeters who mine the fault line between funk, hip-hop and straight-ahead jazz.
Sept 7, 2017 – The New York Times
Hill & Trumpet Peers Offer Captivating Set at FONT
«The shifting constellation of players—which sometimes paired trumpeters from opposite stylistic backgrounds—brought forth the best from each trumpeter. As they sparred and conversed, the bandstand radiated with tangible energy, making real the notion that these musicians clearly inspire — and are inspired by — each other.»
Sept 23, 2016 – DownBeat (Brian Zimmerman)
A selected guide to jazz performances in New York City
FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (through Sunday) This annual convocation of trumpet-centric progressivism, rooted in but not restricted to the jazz tradition, concludes with several special programs, like a Friday concert titled “Explorations in New Brass Music,” in an auditorium at the New School (66 West 12th Street). “Night of Large Ensembles,” in the same room on Saturday, will feature the premiere of “Rosa Parks — Oratorio,” by Wadada Leo Smith, as well as the Taylor Ho Bynum PlusTet. And a ceremony and performance honoring John McNeil, in a smaller New School space on Sunday, will feature (among others) the festival’s founder, Dave Douglas. A full festival schedule is at fontmusic.org.
Sept 23, 2016 – The New York Times (Nate Chinen)
Wadada Leo Smith
The visionary trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has been musically ruminating on Rosa Parks’s civil rights legacy since at least 2005. He dedicated a Miles-inspired track to her on that year’s Tabligh and regaled her resistance later with “Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days” on 2012’s Ten Freedom Summers. Here, as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music (following a set by Taylor Ho Bynum’s fifteen-piece PlusTet ensemble), Smith premieres “Rosa Parks — Oratorio, 6 Songs With Video” for a twelve-piece ensemble featuring Smith and fellow trumpeters Ted Daniel, Hugh Ragin, and Graham Haynes. Smith’s “Parks” fascination continues next month with the release of America’s National Parks, a six-part suite dedicated to public landscapes including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and New Orleans’ National Culture Park.
Sept 19, 2016 – The Village Voice
New Yorker Goings on About Town
FONT: Festival of New Trumpet Music
This bracing sixteen-year-old festival, founded by the Grammy winner Dave Douglas, often blasts its way past boundaries; one of the final events is the “Night of Large Ensembles.” “Rosa Parks,” a six-part oratorio with video by Wadada Leo Smith, is a meditation on civil rights for a twelve-piece group that includes Smith’s fellow-trumpeters Ted Daniel, Hugh Ragin, and Graham Haynes. Also on offer is the New York début of PlusTet, a fifteen-strong ensemble led by the free-jazz cornettist and composer Taylor Ho Bynum, which will perform a generous selection of music from its new album, on Firehouse 12 Records.
Sept 19, 2016 – The New Yorker
10 Things to do Now in NY: Listen to the Latest in Brass Stylings
Festival of New Trumpet Music
This annual convocation of trumpet-centric progressivism, rooted in, but not restricted to, the jazz tradition, begins with a two-night subseries titled Visionaries, at Threes Brewing in Gowanus, Brooklyn, featuring players like Shane Endsley and Nadje Noordhuis. Another series, Signatures in Brass, will be hosted by Marquis Hill on Wednesday and Thursday at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, with trumpeters including Ingrid Jensen, Theo Croker, Maurice Brown, Jason Palmer and Darren Barrett. NATE CHINEN
Sept 16, 2016 – The New York Times (Nate Chinen)
Pop and Jazz Fall Preview: 105 Albums, Shows and Festivals
FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC The 14th convocation of trumpet-centric progressivism is titled “Flexus,” after an instructional book by John McNeil and Laurie Frink (it will include a panel on the subject, and an award for Mr. McNeil). But there will also be a clutch of up-and-comers appearing at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn; a “Signatures in Brass” series organized by Marquis Hill, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola; and a “New Dimensions” concert at the New School, featuring Wadada Leo Smith and Taylor Ho Bynum. Sept. 19 through 25. fontmusic.org.
Sept 16, 2016 – The New York Times (Nate Chinen)
The annual Festival of New Trumpet Music, featuring Shane Endsley, returns on Monday
(Monday through Sept. 25) This annual convocation of trumpet-centric progressivism, rooted in, but not restricted to, the jazz tradition, begins with a two-night subseries titled Visionaries, at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn (at 333 Douglass Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, Gowanus). It features players like Shane Endsley and Nadje Noordhuis. Another series, Signatures in Brass, will be hosted by Marquis Hill on Wednesday and Thursday at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (at 60th and Broadway), with trumpeters including Ingrid Jensen, Theo Croker, Maurice Brown, Jason Palmer and Darren Barrett. A full festival schedule is at fontmusic.org.
Sept 15, 2016 – The New York Times (Nate Chinen)
Mega Jazz Action Coming To New York This Fall
On the festival tip, FONT (Festival of New Trumpet) Music, directed by superstar trumpeter Dave Douglas, presents a weeklong celebration of the new music being created by the community of brass players in New York and beyond (Sept. 19-25). A go-to event since 2003, FONT Music marks its first year collaborating with JALC’s Dizzy’s club in presenting shows. Other shows take place at The New School and Threes Brewing in Brooklyn. Special guests include John McNeil, honored this year with FONT’s Award of Recognition, and one evening called Signatures in Brass, curated by Marquis Hill, winner of the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition. A highlight: the Night of Large Ensembles at New School on Sept. 24 with Wadada Leo Smith with his 12-piece ensemble and Taylor Ho Bynum and his 15-piece Plus Tet.
Sept 8, 2016 – The Huffington Post (Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc‘s Senior Editor)