Terell Stafford & Bruce Barth
@ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club
13 November 2015
Click an image to enlarge.
Terell Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago, Illinois
and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in
Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters
of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.
Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has
been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous
trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognised
as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep
love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism.
Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical
talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition
of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
Stafford first picked up the trumpet at age thirteen, initially
studying classical music. While pursuing a music education degree
at the University of Maryland, Stafford played with the school’s
jazz band. In 1988, Stafford had the good fortune to meet and receive
advice from Wynton Marsalis who suggested that he study with Dr.
William Fielder at Rutgers University. After studying trumpet fundamentals
with Dr. Fielder, Stafford was inspired to play all genres of music
including jazz. It was during this time that he began to immerse
himself in jazz; listening to everything he could get his hands
on. Stafford cites one of his most profound musical influences as
Clifford Brown’s rendition of “Cherokee.” Later,
Marsalis gave Stafford the opportunities to perform in his group
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and teach at Jazz at Lincoln Center
and Juilliard. Marsalis supports Stafford’s current role as
Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia
and continues to offer his guidance and support. While studying
at Rutgers, Stafford was invited to join Bobby Watson’s group,
Horizon. The next five years were spent balancing his offstage education
with the incredible knowledge and experience gained from performing
alongside Watson, co-leader Victor Lewis and Shirley Scott. Scott
invited Stafford to join her quintet and the house band on Bill
Cosby’s show You Bet Your Life, where Scott was Musical Director;
this gave Stafford the opportunity to play alongside Tim Warfield
that led to their ongoing musical collaborations. Stafford credits
these experiences to honing his skills as an effective arranger,
composer and bandleader; all things that Bobby Watson himself learned
from his time with the late Art Blakey while performing with the
Jazz Messengers. Stafford’s time with Horizon led to his joining
McCoy Tyner’s Latin All-Star Band that featured some of the
best Latin jazz players, including trombonist Steve Turre, flutist
Dave Valentin and percussionist Jerry Gonzalez.
Since the mid-1990’s, Stafford has performed with groups
such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet,
Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and
Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and
Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.
Stafford has been an integral member in bands led by esteemed
artists such as Cedar Walton, Sadao Watanabe, Herbie Mann, and Matt
Wilson. Stafford has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,
Rosie O’Donnell Show, and You Bet your Life with Bill Cosby.
Bill Cosby has been an incredible mentor for Stafford welcoming
him into the house band on his show, encouraging Stafford to teach
and was instrumental in his positions at Cheney University and Temple
University, Cosby’s alma mater. Stafford can be heard along
with Bobby Watson on the soundtrack for the feature film A Bronx
Tale and in the documentary Treme: Untold Story of Black New Orleans.
Stafford has performed as a guest artist with the Billy Taylor Trio
on National Public Radio’s Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the
Stafford can be heard performing on over 130 albums; a sampling
is included here. Stafford with the Hamilton-Clayton Jazz Orchestra,
performed on Diana Krall’s GRAMMY nominated “From this
Moment On” (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform
with the Clayton Brothers Quintet, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
and to teach for the prestigious Vail Jazz Foundation. In celebration
of Jimmy Heath’s 80th birthday, Stafford recorded with the
Jimmy Heath Big Band for the album “Turn Up the Heath”
(2006). As a member of drummer Matt Wilson’s group Arts and
Crafts, Stafford is featured on the album “Scenic Route”
(2007). Stafford performed on Alvin Queen and the Organic’s
album “I Ain’t Lookin’ at You” (2006).
Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental
Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell
Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz
Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz
world as an educator, performer and leader along with countless
award nominations, accolades and associated acts.