Steve Wright

SW w:GJLB #2

Trumpeter, Composer, Educator and Publisher

Dr. Steve Wright is a nationally recognized trumpet and flugelhorn soloist, as well as a composer-arranger of hundreds of works. A graduate of the University of Iowa, his professional career began in 1968 as a jazz, lead trumpet player and arranger with the U.S. Air Force Jazz Ensemble, the Airmen of Note. After leaving the Washington, DC in 1972, he moved to the Twin Cities and resides in Minnetonka. He holds a BM from the University of Iowa, plus MM and DMA degrees from the University of Minnesota. Wright retired as Professor Emeritus from Gustavus Adolphus College in June of 2014 after 24 years as professor of Jazz Ensembles, Trumpet and Music Arranging. Most recently, a scholarship at Gustavus was created in his name for international jazz touring students.

As a trumpeter, performances have included everything from pops concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Orchestra Hall Big Band to recording tracks for Motown Records. In addition, he has played lead trumpet on shows for such stars as Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Joe Williams, the 1991 Special Olympics ABC TV Special and many others. Along with many other commercials, he played solo trumpet on the award winning spot (the “Cat Herders”) for the 2000 Super Bowl. In the spring of 2022, he was named a Jazz Legend in the Twin Cities

His big band was formed in 1974 and has played for concerts, shows and private parties. Their 1981 album – Take Two – is available on CD & Vinyl. In the 80s, Wright wrote dozens of jazz ensemble arrangements and compositions for Jenson Publications and Hal Leonard, as well as music for numerous concerts, industrial shows and recording projects. Jazz ensemble, wind ensemble and brass publications are available at

In May of 2011, he co-hosted the 36th annual International Trumpet Guild Conference in Minneapolis, which broke an all-time attendance record with trumpeters from all over the world. The Steve Wright Big Band performed on the opening and closing concerts, backing six internationally renowned jazz trumpeters.

Wright is a member of the International Trumpet Guild, American Composers Forum, JEN, NAfME, Phi Mu Alpha and has been an American Federation of Musicians union member for nearly 60 years.