Conrad Jones is the newly appointed Principal Trumpet of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Prior to this position, he served as 3rd trumpet while simultaneously earning a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California. During the summer season he is principal trumpet of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR under Music Director Teddy Abrams. A native of Long Island, NY, he studied at the Juilliard Pre-College before going on to the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance in 2011.
Recognized as both a jazz and classical soloist, Jones is a winner of the 2008 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award, a winner of DownBeat Magazine's Student Music Award, a two-time winner of the Tuesday Musical Association Solo Competition, and most recently, the winner of the 2011 Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition. Mr.Jones has been a featured soloist with the Downey Symphony Orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Tucson Pops! Orchestra, and will be making his solo debut with the TSO in the 14/15 season performing George Tsontakis' True Colors: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he has performed with various new music ensembles including LA based WildUp!, Cleveland based FiveOne, and Cantori Domino. Jones is a founding member of the Kyōdai Brass Quintet, a group started in Cleveland with his two younger brothers in 2009. Praised for their innovative and engaging outreach programs, Kyōdai's most recent activity includes residencies with the Detroit Chamber Music Society and the Cleveland Chamber Music Society. They were awarded the Aspen Music Festival Brass Quintet Fellowship in 2013.
Outside of Tucson, Jones has performed as guest principal trumpet with the Phoenix Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, and CityMusic Cleveland. Former teachers include Kevin Cobb, Michael Sachs, Michael Miller, and Jim Wilt.
When did you start playing your instrument? I started the trumpet at age 9 and am currently on my 15th year of playing.
Are you from a musical family? Both my parents and my brothers are musicians. My mom is a clarinetist and band teacher and my dad is a trombonist and music administrator. My younger brothers are twins, one plays tuba and the other trombone. My bros and I have many different groups that we play in together, everything from brass quintet and trios to a balkan brass band. I feel grateful to be so musically connected to my family!
Do you play any other instruments? Now I don't really play anything else besides a little percussion here and there, but I used to play cello, guitar, and the bagpipes.
What makes your instrument special? My favorite thing about the trumpet is the definitely the sound, but I also love the versatility of the instrument. You can fit the trumpet into almost any style imaginable!
What advice would you give to kids learning to play your instrument? Don't let having braces discourage you. I had them for 5 years when I was younger and know they can be very painful to play with, but hang it there, the light end of the tunnel is more bright than you could imagine!
Favorite composers: My favorite composers are Claude Debussy, Samuel Barber, Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Aaron Copland, and J.S. Bach.
Guilty musical secret: Every now and then I throw an old Iron Maiden album into the cd player while I'm driving.
Most exciting musical moment: It's hard to choose just one, but I recently played in a performance of mahler's fifth symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz, who is one of my idols and trumpet heroes. That was an extremely exciting experience to say the least!
Hobbies: Hunting down good food and drink is the way I spend most of my free time, so I guess that can count as my hobby.
Hometown: I grew up in Sayville, New York, which is a small beach town on the south shore of Long Island. I also lived in Cleveland, OH for a while and in a way that almost feels more like my hometown.
What are your three favorite movies? Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, and Taxi Driver.
Favorite Tucson restaurant? I'm still very new to Tucson, but my favorite restaurant so far is Mariscos Chihuahua.
What are your desert island must haves? Flare gun, my trumpets, and a surfboard.