World-renowned Australian trumpeter James Morrison is bringing his musical brilliance to Henderson State University April 23 when he will perform a big band concert backed by some of the region’s best jazz musicians.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Arkansas Hall Auditorium, 1118 Henderson St., in Arkadelphia. Tickets are $14.99 for general admission and $9.99 for students. They can be purchased online at hsu.edu/morrison. The concert is presented by Henderson State’s Trumpet Guild.
Morrison began playing professionally when he was 13. His international career began in the United States at the Monterey Jazz Festival when he was 16. A multi-instrumentalist, Morrison also plays piano, all brass instruments, saxophone, and double bass.
He has performed at the world’s major jazz festivals, including Montreux, North Sea, Nice and the Hollywood Bowl, playing with many of the legends of jazz, including: Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few. Morrison also frequents the world’s most famous jazz clubs – Birdland, The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, New Morning in Paris, The Tokyo Blue Note and Ronnie Scott’s in London.
Now 60, Morrison’s career has included much more than jazz.
He has recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra, rock legends INXS and the European Brass Ensemble, performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, written the opening fanfare for the Olympic Games, played Royal Command performances for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for U.S. Presidents Bush and Clinton. He has played classical trumpet at the Kremlin, was TV presenter on Top Gear Australia, and on International Jazz Day 2016, Morrison was a guest of President Obama at the White House.
Morrison has been appointed a member of The Order of Australia. He’s a Doctor of the University at Queensland Conservatorium of Music and has received a Doctor of Music from the Edith Cowan University Western Australia and the University of Adelaide. He is an adjunct professor at the University of South Australia and vice-chancellor’s Professorial Fellow.
In 2015, Morrison founded his own academy of music in Mount Gambier, South Australia. The James Morrison Academy of Music @ UniSA is an innovative school dedicated to teaching jazz and offering both a bachelor degree and postgraduate programs.
In a recording career spanning more than three decades, Morrison has released a large variety of albums from gospel to big band to electronic fusion.
When not writing film scores, composing, or serving as patron of some of Australia’s major music institutions, Morrison relaxes in some unconventional ways for a musician – flying his private plane or driving in a rally championship.
For more information about Morrison, go to jamesmorrison.com.