When did you first begin seriously studying your instrument?
Music has always been in my blood. My grandfather was a jazz saxophonist and my older cousin is a professional guitarist who studied music at NYU. I wanted to play music since I can remember. I started guitar lessons in 3rd grade, then trumpet lessons in 4th grade. In high school, I began seriously pursuing jazz trumpet.
Trumpeter Yale Friend
Located in Chevy Chase, MD
Setup & Music Gear
I play on a Cannonball 789-RL trumpet with a tuning slide custom built by Steve Loeb at L&L Music-Wind Shop. I use a Monette Resonance B2S3 mouthpiece.
What are you doing with music right now?
I currently play in four ensembles at Brown University. Most of my time is spent playing 2nd trumpet (the “jazz chair”) in the Big Band. We had a busy year, playing with Descemer Bueno, Ramon Diaz, and Pedrito Martinez in the fall, then with Jimmy Heath, and later Thomas Bergeron (the trumpet player) in the spring. In between we did a tour around Berlin.
I also play in a jazz combo, the klezmer band, and a salsa band. In addition to regular performances, my combo hosts biweekly jazz jams.
During the summer I teach jazz, trumpet, and ukulele at Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp. When I am home, I play bass and trumpet at my synagogue for select Shabbat services.
Who are some of your influences?
Without a doubt, Wynton Marsalis is my biggest musical influence. I pay careful attention to everything he does; the way he plays, the way he sounds, the way he interacts with his fellow musicians, the way he carries himself, and his passion for education. My other influences include Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, James Morrison, and Wynton Kelly among many others.
Who do you/have you studied with?
My first trumpet teacher was Sasha Soper. He taught the 4th grade band class and is actually a very talented jazz drummer with whom I’ve since performed. Following were Bill Turner, Kevin Collar, Lyle Link, Brad Clements. I currently study with Matt McGarrell, who directs the Big Band and teaches classes in jazz history and composition, and privately study jazz theory and performance with Ed Tomassi of Berklee.
What are some of your goals musically for the future?
I haven’t quite figured that out yet. In addition to music, I also study electrical engineering at Brown. My general plan is to play for as long as I can on top of another job, and to open the door if opportunity knocks.
Any additional information you would like to add?
Some other highlights of my musical experience are playing at Blues Alley in Washington D.C. four times, playing with Mike Stern, and more recently, rehearsing and performing with Roomful of Blues.
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