Jazz Trumpet Player Ken Edwards
of The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas
Ken Edwards Trumpet Player
Jazz Trumpet Player Ken Edwards was born in Garland, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), raised [in order] in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Houston, Myrtle Beach and finished high school in Lewisville, Texas. Trumpet player Ken Edwards relates, "I began playing the Tuba, late I might add, my freshman year in high school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My sophomore year, or rather the summer before, I grabbed a school trombone and began learning so I could be in the school jazz band. During the middle of my sophomore year, my mom bought a trumpet for me because I was listening to Chuck Mangione a lot. She didn't know what a Flugelhorn was so, it was the next best thing. I messed around on that for the next 2.5 years, but mainly stuck with Tuba in the symphonic areas and trombone in the jazz areas. The summer before my junior year, I moved to Lewisville, Texas (about 10 miles south of the University of North Texas), but at the request of the director, continued to play tuba and [now] bass trombone. It was when I graduated high school that I decided to 1) go in the Navy and 2) make the trumpet my goal. I did not seriously study the trumpet until my two years in the Navy were up and I started at the University of Texas at Arlington."
"I did not have any real instruction on the instrument until my freshman year in college. My first influence was Chuck Mangione. My dad used to put "Feels So Good" on the turntable when I was 3 or 4 and I suppose it just stuck with me; although, I didn't think twice about the music until I got an itch to go the local record store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and hummed out "Feels So Good" to the employee. He directed me to the album, and I just went crazy after that ... trying to find different things and what-not.
My main jazz trumpet influences are Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis, Tom Harrell and Clifford Brown. These are no brainers and should be everybody's jazz trumpet influences. I try to take something from each of these players and to incorporate it into my own sound."
"Most of my playing experiences in college were during my graduate degree from The University of North Texas while playing in the One O'Clock Jazz Ensemble. We took a tour to Thailand, where we performed for the King. I did not know Maynard at the time, but I knew they were good friends. I got the chance to perform Maria Schneider's music with her conducting at the University of North Texas as well.
My professional playing career did not begin until about halfway through my undergraduate degree. I began playing local church, big band and society gigs, and performing with my jazz quartet [and trio] around town and for parties. It wasn't until my time at the University of North Texas that I started doing more things, thanks in part to my time with the One O'Clock Jazz Ensemble. For my two years with the band, I played the jazz trumpet chair. After my first two years of the University of North Texas, one of my former One O'Clock Lab Band cohorts put my name in for the Maynard Ferguson band, and I graciously accepted. After my tour, I began getting calls for [local] higher profile gigs and clinics, etc. I also got the opportunity to play on Maynard's last recorded album, "The One and Only." I have had the pleasure of recording with my friend and colleague Stockton Helbing, who was Maynard's last music director and recorded my own album "Lost In This Place" a few years ago. I also accepted an adjunct teaching position at the University of Texas at Arlington, where I currently teach applied trumpet, jazz history and jazz improvisation.
Trumpet Player Ken Edwards continues, be more efficient when you play. My first teacher, Dr. Rick Bogard, was not a jazz player. A hell of a legit player (whatever that means - isn't jazz a legitimate form of music?) who taught me the real fundamentals of playing the instrument. He always told me that no matter what style of music I was playing, I would always need the fundamentals. I learned most of what I know about playing the trumpet from him.
Be more efficient when you play. Jay Saunders was my teacher in graduate school. He's a great lead/commercial trumpet player. He just plays everything great. For those that don't know, he was with Stan Kenton. He instructed me to use less pressure, something that I started doing between the time I finished my lessons during my undergrad degree and starting at the University of North Texas. He always tried to instill in me that it is the air, not the embouchure. He's taught a lot of great players. I teach a lot of what he preached to my college students. He also tried to help me to focus on what I was playing in the moment, instead of letting my mind wander aimlessly as I played etudes.
Mike Steinel was most definitely my jazz trumpet mentor. What I learned from him was the glue to improvisation that I needed. I could hear things, but he helped me to be more technical with practicing for improvisation. I still teach a lot of the things I learned from him to my jazz trumpet students as well as improvisation class.
Don't practice while watching TV, or with the computer on or near ... basically any distractions. That will help you to accomplish nothing and waste your time during your practice sessions. Have audio things handy if you're practicing with Abersold recordings or transcribing, etc. Nothing wastes your time more than practicing while distracted. Might as well go ahead and just watch TV, because you're not doing anything to help your playing!
Know what you want to practice before you practice. Have a good schedule and timeline planned out so you accomplish the things you want to accomplish. Wasting time is wasting chops
Trumpet Player Ken Edwards Trumpet(s) include a Yamaha 6310z Bobby Shew Professional Model Bb Trumpet,
Courtois Evolution III and Bach 37.
I like my Yamaha for lead & section playing (and jazz in big band) and commercial playing. I like my Evolution for small group jazz and legit/classical playing mainly for its big sound. I'm not really fond of my Bach 37; although, I will get the itch to play it from time to time.
I will preach my Yamaha YFL631 Professional Model Flugel
from now till I find something better. I love the rich warm sound ... it actually sounds like a flugelhorn, and not a dark cornet.
For lead, I use a Warburton 4s top and 4* backbore ... section and other things I'll use a 4mc and 8* backbore. Those are with my Yamaha. For my Courtois Trumpet, I use a 1.5C . It's a nice dark combination.
I do offer private lessons as well as clinics. My clinics focus mostly on jazz trumpet styles and improvisation. I also do big band-type clinics and basic trumpet playing clinics. I have also recently enjoyed doing more all region jazz clinics/concerts as well as being a guest artist with high school jazz bands. My association with friend and drummer Stockton Helbing is also bringing a lot of opportunities as a clinician and guest artist.
Although the trumpet is my main instrument, I like to think of music as a whole, and not being limited to just being a trumpet player; although, I couldn't imagine not playing the trumpet. It is most definitely my main voice. I also like to play [jazz] piano and write. I have taken a break from composing for the past 3 years to allow myself time with my young kids. I have recently started to do more composing and arranging again.
To contact Ken Edwards ... you can visit Ken's website at KenEdwardsJazz.com
Ken Edwards Discography At CD Universe