EMI’s Blue Note Records has signed jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Ambrose Akinmusire. The 28 year-old winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition will head into the studio this Fall to record his major label debut with labelmate Jason Moran as co-producer.
“Mr. Akinmusire is among the latest to put together a quintet that seems destined for much wider recognition,” recently wrote critic Ben Ratliff in The New York Times. “It’s limber, straight-ahead jazz with mystery and pop instincts that gets around most of the old, pervasive mainstream influences, both of trumpet playing and bandleading.”
Akinmusire (pronounced ah-kin-MOO-sir-ee) was born and raised in Oakland, California. After attending the Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship, the young trumpeter returned to the west coast to pursue a Masters degree at the University of Southern California. In 2007, Akinmusire won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition from a panel of judges that included Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, Terence Blanchard, Hugh Masekela, Clark Terry and Roy Hargrove. That year he also won the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, and released his debut recording Prelude…To Cora on the Fresh Sound New Talent label.
Akinmusire went on to attend the Monk Institute of Jazz where he studied with Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. He recently performed as part of Jason Moran’s multimedia concert event In My Mind: Monk At Town Hall, 1957, and has also recorded with the likes of Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Aaron Parks, and Esperanza Spalding. He is currently based in New York City.