Ambrose Akinmusire featuring Brussels Jazz Orchestra

His playing has both spellbinding beauty and passionate power. Ambrose Akinmusire (US) is the jazz trumpet’s new ‘Prince of Darkness’. The promising American trumpeter and composer will play a series of concerts with Brussels Jazz Orchestra between 9 and 13 October 2019.

Ambrose Akinmusire owes his unusual surname to his Nigerian parents, and the development of his exceptional talent to the American jazz scene in which he grew up. Ambrose was born in Oakland, California and already showed promise as a teenager. He was playing in the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble when Steve Coleman plucked him away after a workshop. Today he is one of contemporary jazz’s leading representatives.

Awards like the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition Award (2007) and Downbeat Critics Survey (2012) only confirm that Akinmusire’s music shows a virtuoso control of both instrument and material. Never losing himself in superficial simplicity, he is always formulating an artistic vision of intellectual height and emotional depth. The trumpeter is known for his openness to music, from classical to hip-hop and everything between. In virtually any situation, he can be either a daring leader or an amiable sideman, capable of redefining the role of his instrument within jazz again and again. He moves boundaries and in doing so always manages to continually reinvent himself.

Brussels Jazz Orchestra has invited this new voice of the trumpet for a short series of concerts. The repertoire will consist of Akinmusire’s own compositions, in arrangements by Jim McNeely.

Dates: 9 - 13/10/2019

Trumpet & compositions: Ambrose Akinmusire

Arrangements: Jim McNeely (With thanks to HR Bigband (D)).



Ambrose Akinmusire’s musical development was encouraged at an early age by encounters with greats like saxophonist Joe Henderson and Steve Coleman. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. At the age of 19 he was touring as a member of Steve Coleman and the Five Elements. At 28 he released his second album with Blue Note, which according to many took post-bop into new uncharted territory. He has played as a sideman on many albums by Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman, Esperanza Spalding and others.