Trumpet Soloist, Jazz and/or Brass Clinics,
Composition & Arranging Seminars,
Music Technology, Residencies
Since graduating from the University of Iowa and joining the famed Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. in 1968, Dr. Steve Wright has appeared across the United States as a trumpet soloist & clinician at High Schools, Colleges and Jazz Festivals. After 24 years of college teaching, he recently retired as an associate professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, where he taught trumpet, Jazz Ensemble and Music Arranging plus courses in Jazz History, Music Technology & Careers in Music. He has been an integral part of the Twin Cities music scene since 1972 and continues to expand his performance & clinic efforts, as well as teaching privately in the Twin Cities area.
His broad experience in the musical world – from orchestral to jazz – makes him valuable as a an educator and guest soloist/clinician. With a rich background in music education at all levels, Wright understands the needs and skill levels of the students he works with. As a young junior high student, Wright’s band director (David Hans) had all of Clifford Brown’s recordings and exposed him to Brown’s music early on. Two summer trips to the Stan Kenton Clinics in high school, allowed a window into the great big band sound, but also opened his ears to Cannonball Adderley, Donald Byrd, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others who taught there. His Dad (Maurice Wright) was considered a pioneer in the early jazz ensemble days in Iowa. Study at Northwestern University and the University of Iowa had him rubbing musical shoulders with saxophonist David Sanborn and pianist Dale Oehler.
Steve’s rich background in music and mentoring by caring teachers provided him with inspiration to pass on the musical message in an intensive manner, yet put the students he works with in the best light as they rehearse and perform. He also is well aware of the limits of young musicians and takes that into account. In other words – though he has been a professional performer for over 40 years – he understands very well the many levels of student achievement and works to better their musical lives at the appropriate stage of their development!
Sample Concert and/or Clinic Options:
Solo with Concert Band
Concerto for Trumpet & Wind Ensemble ~ Steve Wright
Dramatic Essay ~ Clifton Williams
La Virgen de la Macarena ~ Rafael Mendez
Cinema for Trumpet & Wind Ensemble ~ Steve Wright
Solo with Jazz Ensemble
Anything I’ve Written and/or literature your band is playing now!
Basics of Tone Production, Technique & Range development
Developing a Warm-Up/Practice Routine
Big Band Lead Trumpet Playing & Jazz Phrasing
Master Classes ~ Recital Literature and/or Jazz Improvisation
Music Publishing ~ Writing appropriately for different skill levels; Use of Finale, including page layout; Printing & Bindery; Promotion.
Contracting ~ Booking Gigs, Running a Band & being an Effective Sideman!
Recording ~ Performance in the Studio, Live Recording, Mixing & Mastering (ProTools)
Producing Your Own CD from planning to manufacturing.
“Steve Wright has been one of the fixtures at our jazz festival for many years. His brilliant playing coupled with his acumen as an educator make him the perfect clinician. He always has insightful comments for our bands and combos. Steve knows how to focus a group of students on the details that will take them to “the next level”. Students want to know that their clinicians are also players and Steve is one of the best. He interacts with students through his playing in a way that makes them want to practice – what more could you ask for?”
Sun Prairie High School (WI)
(Prize Winning Jazz Program)
“My association with Steve Wright dates back nearly forty years. Throughout that time, I have had the opportunity to work with Steve in many genre, from big band to symphony orchestra. During that time, I have found Steve to be a dedicated, sincere and exceptional talent, as a trumpet player and as a composer & arranger.
As a member of the trumpet section in the Minnesota Orchestra before retirement, I had a first hand opportunity to observe Steve’s musical ability. On many occasions he was engaged to play with the orchestra when the trumpet part called for a featured soloist on an extended jazz number. He always played with great virtuosity and confidence in technique, ideas, tone and range. Steve also played lead trumpet a number of times doing shows such as Ray Charles, Doc Severinsen and Henry Mancini. He is a well rounded musicians as was evident in his final Doctorate performance at the University of Minnesota.”
Associate Principal Trumpet (retired)
“I have know Dr. Steve Wright for almost 24 years. He was the first private trumpet instructor I ever had. I learned a great deal from him, as his emphasis on laying a”foundation” for playing trumpet has stuck with me for years. As a trumpet instructor, he placed great emphasis onwarm-up and appropriate practice. As my playing progressed, he taught me how to truly make the music come alive by focusing on phrasing and overall musicality.
Dr. Wright was also my jazz band director in college and taught me a lot about the basics of playing jazz – style & phrasing. He also put great emphasis on improvisation, an area that I was not comfortable with as a young college student, but by the time I left Gustavus Adolphus College, I wasconfident that I had a solid background in trumpet and jazz.
I am proud to say that Dr. Wright is now a colleague of mine in the music education world. Some years ago, I attended an MMEA workshop of his on playing trumpet “lyrically”. I have put his ideas from this clinicsession to good use with many of my own young students.
Steve Wright is an incredible educator as well as a gifted musician. He presents his thoughts and ideas on playing trumpet and performingjazz in a way that students of any age can understand and he does it with positive energy! I feel privileged to have had him as my teacher!”
Pipestone (MN) Schools
“Dr. Steve Wright, an excellent player and teacher. • Having graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1997, I still call on Dr. Wright for unanswered questions. Dr. Wright’s ability to teach life skills through jazz at Gustavus has helped me and other I have worked with. Unlike many professional musicians I have worked with, he has no airs about him. High school students are an extremely tough crowd, but I have witnessed my students turn to butter in his hands. He is captivating, musically and personally. He brings to the table a rare sincerity and work ethic. He continually strives for his very best, and his best is nothing short of exceptional.”
2002-2004 MMEA Jazz Chair
Director of Bands
Annandale High School (MN)
“I have used trumpeter Steve Wright twice as a clinician/soloist for my jazz festival because he has that important ability to give students information to improve their performances. In addition, Steve’s trumpet soloing is a rare blend of lead trumpet chops and an artist’s sensitivity. I strongly recommend Steve Wright to those looking for the consummate professional for their school festival.”
Dr. Steven Konecne
Professor of Music (retired)
Director of Jazz Studies
Bemidji State University (MN)