Clarence Theodore “Teddy” Kyle : Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Keyboards, Vocals…
Clarence Kyle is a premier trumpeter with a distinctive style of his own. Once you hear him you’ll
always want more. He grabs you with his smooth melodic tempos when he channels Miles, Dizzy and
Freddie. He grips you with his biting high notes reminiscent of Earth, Wind and Fire. Jazz Funk is what
he’s coined it. If you enjoy listening to horns, you won’t be disappointed.
Born during the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Newport RI, he was destined to bring forth great
music. On his eighth birthday his mother took me to what they use to call a jazz supper club. It
was an evening of Firsts-he had his first steak and his first taste of what would ultimately drive
his passion for the trumpet. His table not being 5 feet from the stage chomping down his steak
dinner, he got his first taste of a 4-piece jazz combo playing a little song call “Take Five” that
would later become the infamous Dave Brubeck. The first time he felt the bass temporarily
substitute his own heartbeat.
After the song ended Mr. Brubeck announced he had a friend he wanted to bring out. A tall man in a
shark skin suit holding a bright shiny horn under his arm came out and began to play. It was none
other than the great Chet Baker. After the set my mother, a singer who often performed at the club,
introduced him to the whole band. Being Mr. Curious he asked Mr. Baker “what is the shiny thing
with three buttons?’. Mr. Baker answered, “A trumpet”. He asked, ‘Are you the best in the world?’
Mr. Baker said, “There is always someone better, so try to be “that” someone! Clarence set out to
By the time he was 14 he was already playing full-time, six nights a week in bands making $400 a
Sundays he and other musician friends would go to three jazz clubs in one night sitting in with the
“big boys”. They loved show casing these teenagers. Since they were under age, they would play
three songs and jet to another club. On one occasion, after he finished a 3-minutes solo from
Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower” a voice behind he booms, “Hey boy!” He turned around to the
smiling face of his father Clarence, Sr. He asked, “Where did you learn to play like that?
Clarence explained that he would listen to his father’s jazz albums. While gaining actual
experience playing six nights a week, he took every band class available. They quickly bored him.
Still a teen, he got his first studio gig, playing on theme song for the San Diego Chargers fight
song, “Super Chargers”. That same year he was mentioned in DownBeat magazine as the most prominent
16 year-old trumpet player. His friend Lenon Honor a trombone player and James Zollar a fellow
trumpet player sat in with the great Freddie Hubbard.
The day he received his diploma from high school he was on a plane to Japan to play for nine
months. He came back to the states to tour with R& B band Brick. After almost two years he hooked
up with the Gap Band, The Checkmates, Teena Marie and the one and only Ike Turner.
More recently he’s been solicited to play with tribute bands from Chicago to Sade, be front man for
several local jazz combos, R&B and Hip-Hop bands as well as sit in with the music scene’s most
prominent trumpeters Mic Gillette of Tower of Power and Gilbert Castellano.
To experience the world of Funk Jazz and learn more about Clarence go to www.ctkyle.com