Jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin is a rising star in the jazz world. In 2005, he placed second in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle, WA, an event which was judged by jazz trumpet greats Ingrid Jensen, Terell Stafford and Scott Wendholt. While Heflin's style is unique and personal, it is firmly rooted in the traditions of jazz."I'd say I'm most heavily influenced by Clifford Brown, Louis Armstrong, Nicholas Payton, Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard. My style is a mix of all of those different elements, both modern and traditional. I think it's important to know the history of the music and to incorporate it into your playing because it gives you more depth."
As a regular featured soloist with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Heflin has performed with the likes of Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Golson, and Monty Alexander. As a member of the band, he has also recorded with Stefon Harris, Donald Brown, Gregory Tardy and John Clayton. He has also toured Europe playing festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Ezcaray Jazz Festival, and Jazz at Vienne as well as performed in clubs in Paris, France and San Sebastian, Spain. Outside of the KJO, Heflin has performed in a professional capacity with the likes of James Williams, Vincent Herring, Donald Brown, and Lou Rawls.
Thomas Heflin is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he studied with jazz education luminary, Jerry Coker. He recieved his masters degree from the internationally renowned jazz department at William Paterson University. While at William Paterson, Heflin got the opportunity to perform in and around New York. He is currently working to obtain his doctorate in music from the University of Texas, Austin. Heflin recently released his debut album, "Symmetry," which features renowned pianist James Williams.
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- Thomas Heflin
- April 2009
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