(May 4, 1928 - August 23, 2006) far surpassed the title "trumpet player." Maynard Ferguson was an internationally famous band leader, one of the world's greatest brass players, an instrument designer for Holton LeBlanc, a record producer, a composer, an arranger, a producer of film soundtracks, a dedicated music teacher and a family man. Maynard was also a three-time Grammy Award nominee and Down Beat magazine award winner. Maynard recorded over 60 albums in his lifetime. The alumni list of his band members over five decades reads like a Who's Who of the jazz world: Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Bill Chase, Bob James, Slide Hampton, Wayne Shorter, Greg Bissonette, Peter Erskine, Joe Zawinul, Willie Maiden, Don Ellis, and Wayne Bergeron are just some of the great musicians Maynard's bands have bred. While trumpet was Maynard's primary musical instrument, Maynard also performed on other brass and reed instruments and occasionally sang. Great Orchestral Trumpet Player Bud Herseth ( Principal Trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1948 until 2001) once referred to Maynard as, "the greatest brass player of this century."
In the 1950s Maynard played an old Mt. Vernon large bore Bach trumpet, a large bore Calicchio trumpet, and a Martin trumpet. In the early 1960s, Maynard used a Conn Constellation 38B model trumpet. Between 1967-1971 Maynard played a Conn Liberator. After 1972, Maynard endorsed his own Holton MF Horn line of trumpets. Holton MF Horn Models have included the ST-301, 302, 306 & 307. Maynard also designed a valve/slide combination trumpet (the Firebird) and a valve/slide combination trombone (the Superbone). Maynard switched to a custom made Monette MF Prana Bb Trumpet in September of 2004 made by Dave Monette.
In the early 1950s, Maynard played a custom Rudy Muck mouthpiece. From 1955 through 1961, Maynard played on a one-of-a-kind custom-made mouthpiece hand-crafted by Domenick Calicchio (exact copies can be obtained from Roger Ingram.) In the 1960s Maynard played a custom Giardinelli (exact copies can be obtained from Greg Black.). Between 1967-1972 Maynard used a custom Jack Bell model. After 1972, Maynard used custom trumpet mouthpiece models made by Holton, Jet-Tone, Schilke & Monette. Maynard's mouthpieces all have small, flat rims with no inside bite, V cupped and with varying throat sizes. Maynard switched to Monette Prana mouthpieces in 1992. His last two Monette trumpet mouthpieces varied from the funnel V cup he had used for so long. They are the Monette Prana MF-II Model and Monette Prana MF-III Model.