I’m from the East Side of Kansas City. I started playing trumpet when I was six.
My first band was a neighborhood group with my friend Robert on sax, Nathan on drums and Eddie on organ. I think I was thirteen.
We played tunes like “Twine Time” by Alvin Cash and the Crawlers and other bluesy grooves.
While we loved Coltrane and Miles, we didn’t realize that their free-sounding music actually had an infinite set of rules that could change with every beat in a measure of music.
So most of us played soul and funk music, like the “Impressions of Soul,” my first high school band.
Great musical experiences followed, like the Man Vs Man Band, Guts Bucket and Funk, Bobby Griffo’s African Brass Arkestra, Robert Glaser’s Urban Jazz and Luigi Waites’ fabulous group, Luigi, Inc.
I was finally beginning to understand what playing through changes was about. Also I had good technique on muted trumpet.
This led to recording sessions with “Physical Therapy,” a smooth jazz band out of St. Louis. I was becoming an in-demand trumpeter so musically, things were looking up.
Then, with a family move to the Northwest, it appeared that my trumpet performing days were over.
Embouchure issues ended my trumpet playing. I concentrated on composing through music editing programs.
I stumbled on an ad promoting trumpet style fingering for Akai’s Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI). I got one and my facility with it developed quickly.
Also, due to being on the keyboard so much, I found I could understand changes, chords and scales in a way I couldn’t have dreamt of before. That keyboard had dramatically expanded my harmonic ears.
So the last three years have been a marvelous re-immersion into performing and composing.
I am finding that strangers like my music, and that is the most gratifying thing of all.
My musical fire is back!
Welcome to the Roy Horn Experience!