On September 28, the FONT Music Festival will be hosting one of two nights featuring three trumpet “Visionaries” on the jazz scene today including Joe Moffett, Jaimie Branch and Leo Hardman-Hill (more on them in coming blog posts) at Downtown Music Gallery (Purchase tickets here). Curating the evening is another leading voice in creative trumpet world, Nate Wooley. We wanted to give a quick spotlight on this unique voice in the trumpet world and hear his thoughts on his curatorial picks and his idea of “Visionary”:
A Note from Nate:
“The term “visionary” comes with a lot of baggage. Who is to say which ways of thinking will prove to be visionary and which will be well intentioned ideas that never quite make it. For that very reason there are many that don’t take the opportunity to find their own musical and aesthetic limits, whether it is with the idea of staking a claim as a “visionary” or not. The three trumpet players I chose for this series are the ones that are taking the chance and are heavily engaged in an attempt to push beyond the already possible systems of playing to form a new one that is best suited to who they are and what they think.”
More about Nate:
Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. He moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.
Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings “exquisitely hostile”.
Wadada Leo Smith talks about the trumpet, Ankhrasmation and the Golden Quartet. Hear him with this group at Le Poisson Rouge, June 5th at 7 pm. Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet with Angelica Sanchez (piano), John Lindberg (bass), Pheeroan akLaff (drums).
FONT: When you look at the total history of the trumpet, from its beginnings as a signaling device, to the incredible diversity of approaches in the world now, what parts of the trumpet’s character is attractive to you? What keeps you interested in playing the instrument?
Wadada Leo Smith: The trumpet really does have a great diversity of approaches but the are only six major lines of trumpet languages with some major connecting branches. The major lines for me are: Freddie Keppard, Joe Oliver; Louis Armstrong; Bix Beiderbeck, Joe Smith, Bubber Miley; Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro; Miles Davis; Donald Cherry, Donald Ayler, Lester Bowie.
What’s interesting about the trumpet is the artists that find a way to create music, to express life’s most unique essence, to make art. Now, that is what the trumpet is for me.Read More