Litchfield Jazz Festival is proud to introduce to its audience trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, winner of the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Making waves since then, 2011 was his break-out year among fans who picked him as the #1 New Artist in the JazzTimes Reader’s Poll and the release of his debut CD on Blue Note Records When the Heart Emerges Glistening.
Born in Oakland, California, Ambrose was a member of the 1999 and 2000 Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School All-Star Band. At just 19, he was hired by saxophonist Steve Coleman for an extensive European tour with his Five Elements band. He won a scholarship to Manhattan School of Music and received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California while simultaneously attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He has since worked with Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Wallace Roney, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, Vijay Iyer, Esperanza Spalding, and others.
He appears at Litchfield with his Quintet with Walter Smith on tenor sax, Sam Harris on piano, Harish Ragahavan on bass, and Justin Brown on drums.