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Greg Black Mouthpieces
623 Eagle Rock Ave.
PMB #127
West Orange, NJ  07052
Ph. and Fax 973-736-4997

Terell Stafford

Terrell Stafford

Click on photo for full size image

Born in Miami to musically inclined parents, Terell Stafford picked up his first trumpet at the age of thirteen. Growing up in Chicago, and later in Silver Spring, Maryland, Terell studied classical music, but was always drawn to jazz. While he pursued a degree in Music Education at the University of Maryland, Stafford played with the school's jazz band. He began to immerse himself in jazz, listening to everything he could get his hands on. "One of my first and most profound musical influences was and is Clifford Brown," notes Terell. "When I first heard him play 'Cherokee' I was in total awe of his playing."

In 1988, Terell had the good fortune to meet and talk with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who suggested that Stafford study with Dr. William Fielder at Rutgers University. Soonafter, Terell entered the Masters Program at Rutgers, where he received his Graduate Degree in Music Performance in 1993. During his time at Rutgers, Terell met saxophonist Bobby Watson, who invited him to join his group Horizon. Over the next five years, the knowledge and experience he gained on the bandstand performing with such stellar players as Watson, co-leader Victor Lewis and Shirley Scott, balanced Stafford's education off the bandstand. "These guys passed along the lessons they learned from the 'Blakey' school of music," offers Stafford, referring to the late jazz drummer/bandleader Art Blakey, and his ever evolving ensemble, the Jazz Messengers. "I learned how to be effective as an arranger, as a composer, and how to lead a band, just as Bobby Watson learned from Blakey."

Terell's time with Horizon led to his joining McCoy Tyner's Latin All-Star Band, which featured some of the best Latin jazz players of our time, including trombonist Steve Turre´, flutist Dave Valentin and percussionist Jerry Gonzalez.

Since the mid-1990's, Terell has been performing as an integral part of various jazz groups led by such stellar performers as Cedar Walton, Sadao Watanabe, John and Jeff Clayton, Herbie Mann as well as with many of the New York-based big bands: Jon Faddis' Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, and the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. As a 'much-in-demand-sideman,' Stafford has appeared on television ('The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' and the short-lived 'You Bet Your Life' with Bill Cosby); played on the soundtrack for the feature film, "A Bronx Tale"; and recently performed as featured guest artist for National Public Radio's popular series, "Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center." Stafford's recording debut as a leader came in 1995 with 'Time To Let Go', (Candid Records) followed in 1997 with the critically acclaimed 'Centripetal Force' (Candid Records). His new CD, 'Fields of Gold,' (Nagel-Heyer/fall 2000) features Terell's current working quintet: Bill Cunliffe/piano; Kiyoshi Kitagawa/bass; Antonio Hart/saxophone and Rodney Green/drums.

In addition to his work as a performer, Terell maintains a high profile in jazz education. As Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, he also appears as featured artist, soloist and lecturer at high schools and universities throughout the country. Additionally, Stafford serves as a member of the resident faculty at the prestigious Vail Foundation in Colorado every year, as well as participating as an instructor and mentor for Jazz at Lincoln's Center's "Essentially Ellington" High School Band Festival, held each spring. He begins a stint as an instructor at the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in the fall of 2001.

This most gifted and versatile player combines lyricism and his deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. The end result is a uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent who stands ready to carry on the rich trumpet tradition established by his predecessors.

You can get more info on Terell at his website

International Trumpet Guild


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