Legendary Jazz artist JIMMY OWENS (trumpet, flugelhorn) has over forty-five years of experience as a Jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger, lecturer, and music education consultant. His experience covers a wide range of international musical achievement, which includes extensive work as a studio musician, soloist, bandleader, and composer of orchestral compositions, movie scores, and ballets.
Jimmy is one of the few trumpeters of his generation who played as a sideman with such extraordinary Jazz leaders as Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Duke Ellington, Billy Taylor, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band, among others. As a result, his musical and personal recollections are unique. He can share personal recollections of being a sideman in some of the most exciting bands in the history of Jazz music. His anecdotes are priceless: a conversation with Duke Ellington about salary; playing with Cootie Williams, Sweets Edison, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie in an historic concert at Yale University where Eubie Blake and Paul Robeson were in the audience; sitting in with Miles Davis at the age of fifteen, and many others.
He’s known as a hard bop player, and it’s true, but that hardly covers the breadth and scope of his musical skills. Throughout his long career, Jimmy has consistently emphasized in both his performances and recordings a deep understanding of the blues as well as beautiful and articulate emotional projection on ballads. As a reviewer stated in All About Jazz regarding Jimmy’s performance on One More: The Summary – Music of Thad Jones, Vol 2 (2006), an all-star recording on which Jimmy appeared – “Jimmy Owens … proves that he’s better than ever, whether employing a breathy, vocal quality (Little Pixie), a smooth flugelhorn sound (Three in One), or brilliant and elliptical Jones-like melodic ideas (Rejoice).”