Professional Trumpet Player Chris Jaudes of New York City
Professional Trumpet Player Chris Jaudes of New York City is one of the most highly regarded and versatile professional trumpet players in New York City. Chris Jaudes was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Chris's parents played in the Salvation Army Band (Mother played the French Horn and Dad played the trombone) and their experiences were his first introduction to music. Chris received his first cornet at the age of seven and emphatically states that he was in love with that horn from day one. Chris knew that playing professionally was what he wanted to do after receiving his cornet that day. Chris struggled for several years and was not a "natural" player by any means. Chris would literally play for three or four hours every day just trying to establish the correct playing embouchure (warming up). Chris attributes his early playing success to brute strength and relates that he had three major embouchure changes to contend with early on.
After Chris got serious with his playing at about the age of fourteen, he began using Claude Gordon and Carmine Caruso's trumpet method books in addition to the James Stamp Trumpet Method book. He also began studying orchestral trumpet with Susan Slaughter and Bob Ceccarini. Chris relates that Susan Slaughter taught him a lot about playing musically and Bob helped him get the physical aspects of playing straightened out. Bob demonstrated a lot of patience with Chris as they worked together on the physical aspects of playing. Chris was heavily influenced by great trumpet players such as Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson, Bud Herseth and Allen Vizzutti.
Chris left St. Louis to study orchestral trumpet at Illinois State University obtaining a Bachelor's in Music and then a Masters in Trumpet Performance. Chris broke his ankle during the second semester of school of his freshman year and had a difficult time getting around. As a result, he would get his lunch and stay in the Music Building while he ate as his dorm was too far away for him to walk. As a result, Chris began listening to the schools jazz ensemble practice and developed an interest. It wasn't long before Chris was a member of the jazz ensemble and playing the Lead book. Chris studied trumpet with Herb Koerselman while at Illinois State University. He also made frequent trips to Chicago to hear Bud Herseth perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
After graduating from school, Chris returned to St. Louis and became active in the gig scene there as Susan Slaughter would have him sub with the Symphony Orchestra and Bob (who was contracting all of the shows in the area) would use him as well for various shows. Chris was getting quite a bit of work and had no reason to leave St. Louis.
Around 1992, Chris had an occasion to (sub) on the Broadway Show "Cats" in New York City where he immediately made some connections. After some traveling back and forth between St. Louis and New York, Chris eventually settled in New York permanently and has been playing there in a professional capacity ever since. Chris has performed with the following Broadway shows: The Pajama Game, Gypsy, Flower Drum Song, Annie Get Your Gun, Ragtime, On the Town, Sunset Boulevard, Steel Pier, Cats, and Peter Pan. He has played Lead trumpet with Sammy Davis Jr., Doc Severinsen, Jerry Lewis, The Pointer Sisters, Lou Rawls, John Tesh, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Jack Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Shania Twain, Dionne Warwick, Al Hirt, Lena Horne, Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Liberace, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Paul Anka, the Birdland Big Band and many others. Chris has been a featured soloist throughout the United States and around the world. His versatile playing style has given him opportunities to perform with The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Carolina Pops Orchestra, as well as with a number of ensembles in the New York area. He has performed as a soloist at the New York Brass Conference, International Trumpet Guild Conference and the Brass Arts Festival in London, England.
Chris states that he recalls trumpet professional Johnny Frost years ago stating to him during a gig, " I feel sorry for you guys ... there's just not much work here anymore." At the time, Chris felt he was getting plenty of work. Now, Chris finds himself frequently saying the same thing to the younger cats in New York. In addition to the toll that the economy has taken on the arts overall, Chris feels that many of those "in power" just do not have an appreciation for real (live) music and musicians. Cuts in the music and musicians are really taking a toll on the quality of what's out there anymore. Opportunities are drying up. Chris believes that the people making the decisions in the business are just not educated as far as music goes. Those in power are finding other things to spend money on instead of live musicians.
Chris is very appreciative of the friends he has made in the business through the years. Trumpet players such as Don Downs, Tony Kadleck, Allen Vizzutti and many others. Chris says that he has learned a lot just from talking with other trumpet players such as Allen Vizzutti, Jens Lindemann and James Morrison. He cites Allen Vizzutti as being a perfect example of trumpet playing efficiently and effortlessly.
Chris teaches private trumpet students. Some of these students are his regular students at The Julliard School of Music where he teaches applied trumpet. Chris has been teaching at Julliard since 2005. Chris usually has his students work out of the trumpet method book Special Studies for Trumpet" written by John Daniel who is the Professor of Trumpet at Lawrence University. Chris spoke very fondly of this particular trumpet method book. He also has his students use the James Stamp Trumpet Method book and then it just depends on the individual students needs from there. Chris wants his students to learn to play correctly and efficiently. Chris says "Special Studies for Trumpet" is a great book for teaching playing efficiently. Chris states that he feels that younger players should utilize a middle of the road mouthpiece like a Bach 3C and a medium bore trumpet while they are still developing physically. Chris feels that there is too much emphasis on "high notes" with younger trumpet players and too many younger players seek really shallow equipment before they are physically developed enough to utilize shallow mouthpieces etc. A younger player should strive to develop a great sound and later on can try out different equipment after they have developed their embouchure. Chris does believe that trying out new trumpets and mouthpieces is advantageous as we all change physically with time; however, only after a trumpet player has matured and can properly evaluate different equipment.
It was quite obvious as I spoke with Chris that he just loves playing trumpet and talking trumpet. His enthusiasm is quite infectious! Doesn't matter if it is in a Symphony Orchestra; Broadway Pit Orchestra; Lead with the Birdland Big Band or with his favorite band ... The Brass Band of Battle Creek. Chris agrees whole heartedly that in this day and time, one must be as versatile as possible as a trumpet player and musician if one is going to play professionally.
Chris was playing "American Jazz Suite" (composed by Allen Vizzutti) as a guest soloist at a brass conference in Illinois and was spending some time in the exposition area of the conference when he was asked by a B&S representative to try out their horns. Chris had to leave; however, saw this same gentleman in the building the next day and went over to the B&S booth to try out a trumpet. Chris states that he tried out a B&S Challenger II and "it felt amazing!" Chris asked if he could take the trumpet to a rehearsal that afternoon and was allowed to. Chris bought the horn later that same afternoon. The next day, Chris returned to the B&S booth and tried out more horns. As a result, Chris became an artist representative and helped B&S design the B&S Challenger II JBX Professional Model Bb Trumpet.
Chris says the secret of the B&S Challenger II JBX Professional Model Bb Trumpet that he helped to design is the combination of a light weight brass bell with a "French Bead Wire." The refined, sharper bell rim edge offers improved projection for any style of music. The B&S Challenger II JBX Professional Model Bb Trumpet. features a .459" bore with reversed lead pipe; a 4.92" Lightweight #43 Bell with French bead wire; boxed, bronze springs; Challenger Monel pistons; Amado water keys; and it is available in gold lacquer and silver plate. There is also the optional #72 bell. Chris owns 90 different trumpets; however, mentioned his B&S Piccolo; Schilke P5-4 Piccolo; Hub Van Laar Flugelhorn; Bach C Trumpet; B&S D/Eb tuneable bell trumpet. (Chuckling) ... Chris stated that Dillon's Music (The Candy Store to you and me) is about a twenty minute drive from his home; so, he just drives over there at times and pulls horns off the wall to play. Additionally, Chris uses the following mouthpieces - a Greg Black 10M or 10C for Lead playing; a Bach 1.5 C for classical playing; and a Bach 3C for all around work. Hammond Design also made Chris a couple of custom mouthpieces that he uses frequently.
I was first exposed to the trumpet playing of Chris Jaudes on the Hosanna Integrity recordings of Ron Kenoly. I have tried to follow his playing ever since hearing Chris perform as well as watching him on the DVD's. Chris is the type of versatile professional trumpet player and trumpet teacher that any student of the horn would be wise to thoroughly investigate and seek out. Chris may be reached at The Julliard School of Music at the following email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris was a real gracious interview subject and a joy to speak with. Thanks Chris!
Chris Jaudes's Discography at CD Universe