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lew soloff

biography | discography | workshops

Lew Soloff “His flair for the dramatic created one adrenalin rush after another as his signature high notes shattered the air…he put his horn to his lips and showed everyone why trumpet were used to blow down the walls of Jericho.”

JazzTimes Magazine

A consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene, Lew Soloff’s career is filled with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. Soloff is known as a virtuoso with tremendous range and superior technical command, yet he exudes a wisdom for quietness and melody. Soloff’s expertise includes trumpet, flugelhorn, harmon mute, plunger mute and he is recognized for his work on piccolo trumpet.

The artist has 8 solo recordings to his credit. “With A Song In My Heart produced by Todd Barkan and Makoto Kimata is probably my favorite personal project to date,” comments Soloff. “I was able to weave a tranquil spirit throughout the sessions. My goal was to play the songs simply and beautifully.”

Soloff’s current work schedule provides a varied platform for his music. The Lew Soloff Quartet features Jean-Michel Pilc (piano), François Moutin (acoustic bass) and Ross Pederson (drums). He recently joined the classical ensemble Manhattan Brass, performing works by Bach as well as Wynton Marsalis. Soloff is also a constant in trombonist Ray Anderson’s colorful ensemble Pocket Brass Band.

It was the mid-1960’s when the fertile jazz scene in New York City ignited Soloff’s career. By 1966, he was performing with Maynard Ferguson and soon became a regular in the Joe Henderson / Kenny Dorham Big Band. That year he also joined the Gil Evans Group, an affiliation he considers his most influential. But it was in the popular groundbreaking group Blood, Sweat And Tears that Soloff’s trumpet solos became an indelible part of American culture.

This classically trained jazz player however is indeed a chameleon in front of the microphone, participating in sessions and concerts for some of music’s most respected figures namely; Lionel Hampton, Mercer Ellington, Teo Macero, Bob James, Laura Nyro, Wayne Shorter, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Marianne Faithful, Aretha Franklin, Keb Mo, Sinead O’Connor, Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon. Defying strict classification, he can also be heard on recordings by Phillip Glass and Kip Hanrahan as well as Blues legends John Mayall and Charlie Musselwhite.

Educational Clinics and Master Classes

A respected educator Soloff appears as guest soloist at universities and high schools around the country. For this work, he utilizes arrangements by his mentor Gil Evans along with other unique charts including an Ellington medley and treatments of his own originals. He has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music for nearly 20 years and has been an adjunct faculty member at Julliard and New School. His workshops are tailored to the specific needs and ideas of his students. “I attempt to develop a comfortable rapport when speaking to a group of student players, with terms they can easily understand,” explains Soloff. “And I play a lot. For me, demonstration is always the best communicator.”

For more information Lew Soloff click here.

solo discography:

Air On A G String

Crown (Japan) / 2003

Rainbow Mountain

32 Jazz / 2000

With A Song In My Heart

Milestone / 1999

But Beautiful

Evidence / 1993

Little Wing

Triloka / 1991

My Romance

King (Japan) / 1989


ProJazz / 1986

Hanalei Bay

ProArt / 1983