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Kirk Garrison

Kirk GarrisonKirk Garrison, jazz trumpet artist, composer & arranger .Kirk is a professional musician residing in the Chicago area. He attended Mankato State University in his home state of Minnesota from 1978-1983.

During a nine year United States Air Force Band career he developed his unique abilities as a lead trumpet player, creative jazz soloist and writer.  One of the peaks of his military career was an assignment as musical director for a select band deployed to the Middle East during operation Desert Storm.  Kirk left the Air Force in 1992 to complete his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies at DePaul University (June 1995).

While at DePaul he received many music awards and academic honors, including Downbeat Magazine's Outstanding Jazz Soloist (1995), and Outstanding Combo Awards (1994).

Currently an artist/clinician for The Music Group, he maintains a vigorous schedule as a performer, private teacher and soloist/clinician at national and international music camps and jazz festivals.  In addition, he is an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago, Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois, and at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois.

Kirk performs and records with several notable jazz ensembles throughout the country.  Recent performance credits include, The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra Brass (Blechschaden), the Chicago Jazz Festival, The Chicago BluesFestival,and with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra. His compositions and arrangements are used in an array of contemporary performing mediums throughout the music industry.  Commissions include: DePaul University, Rob Parton's Jazz Tech Big Band, The Chicago String Ensemble under the direction of Allan Lewis, the Millar Brass Ensemble at Northwestern University, and dozens of other professional organizations.

Howard Reich, jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The spectacular trumpet solo that Kirk Garrison offered... reminded listeners why the Jazz Members Big Band stands among the best repertory units in the country."

Cadence Magazine's jazz critic Jack Bowers wrote "Kirk Garrison's marvelous trumpet work ... so moving it brought tears to my eyes."  His trumpet artistry was described as "cool work"  by  John Von Rhein, music critic of the Chicago Tribune.   John Killoch of Mainly Big Bands (UK) wrote in a review, "This guy nails the section with a big, accurate lead sound and when he flexes his chops ... the sound is again right down the middle, in tune, big and so high.  Musical is a good way to put it.  An object lesson to anyone who aspires to be a top lead trumpeter."

Recent recordings include: Angel Melendez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra a 2005 Grammy nominee, Rob Parton & the JazzTech Big Band-Two Different Days, Clark Terry with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra Plays Porgy & Bess,  Tracking -Kimo Williams, Midnight Rhapsody - Bradley Young,   A Miracle - Frank Mantooth Jazz Orchestra,  Unfinished Business, Play It Again Sammy, That Toddlin' Town - the Bill O'Connell Big Band, Big Band Basie  with Clark Terry and Frank Wess, Three Steps Ahead  and Something to Live For  - the DePaul Jazz Ensemble I, Party, Party, Party  - Brian O'Hearn and the Model Citizens Big Band, Live and Screamin' - the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Frames - the Pat Fleming Quartet, Charles Vernon with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble  and Ebony Concerto  by John Bruce Yeh . Kirk has played on dozens of other recordings, and on scores of  local and national advertisements for radio and television.

Performance credits include:  Louie Bellson, Jim Belushi, Michael Bolton, Kenny Burrell, Nell Carter,  Ron Carter, Pete Christlieb, Vinnie Colaiutta, Larry Combs, Kurt Elling, Jon Faddis, Aretha Franklin, Steve and Edie Gorme, Marvin Hamlisch, Ben E. King, Little Anthony, Herbie Hancock, Bob Hope, Rodney Jones, Pat LaBarbera, Russell Malone, Kevin Mahogany, Johnny Mathis, Brother Jack McDuff, Jim McNeeley, Bob Mintzer, Rita Moreno, Dianne Schuur, Ed Shaughnessy, Bobby Shew, Bobby Short, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Byron Stripling, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Barry White, Joe Williams, Vanessa Williams, Nancy Wilson, Phil Wilson, Stevie Wonder, The Four Freshman, The Temptations, The Ravinia Orchestra.

Kirk plays a French Besson "Classic" trumpet (96CB-L-1 ), a Besson "Sovereign" Flugel Horn (BE947-1-0),   a Besson "Sovereign" Cornet (BE928-1-0)  and uses Denis Wick Precision Mutes.

For clinician/guest artist information contact Kirk at: 
email -

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