Stephen Wright is an up and coming young trumpet player on the scene in Chicago, Illinois. Stephen grew up in the small town of Shelbina, Missouri and studied music education at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. During his sophomore year of high school, he received a cassette of Maynard Ferguson’s Live at Jimmy’s album from his director, Fritz Meeusen, and proceeded to spend the next couple years of study hall hacking away at tunes like “MacArthur Park” and “The Way We Were”. While attending college, he participated in the schools concert band and wind ensemble, but the jazz band is what always peaked his interests the most. In 1999, Stephen relocated to Chicago and began to feel out the music scene.
Since the move, Stephen has had great opportunities to branch out as a performer, both as a sideman and bandleader. Stephen has played with, or opened for some of the music greats covering many different genres including the jazz, blues, and pop worlds. He has had the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Shirley King, Marvin Smith, Sarah McLachlan, Miki Howard, Mickey D (of Motörhead), Mary J. Blige, Train, Huey Lewis and the News, The Dixie Chicks, Joan Rivers, Green River Ordinance, Chely Wright and O.A.R., as well as participating in major tour events such as the Lilith Fair tour with artists like Kate Nash, Heart, The Courtyard Hounds and Vedera. Stephen has also been fortunate enough to play at many great venues such as The Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz, The Joynt, Acorn Theater among other great venues within the U.S. and abroad. Some of Stephen’s greatest musical influences include jazz trumpeters Maynard Ferguson, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, and Freddie Hubbard. He has also been influenced by other great young players such as Carl Fischer and Jim Manley.
Stephen has been honored by the contact he had with the Maynard Ferguson organization and its band members. “Some of my greatest influence and motivation in music has resulted from conversations that I have had with individuals within the Maynard Ferguson organization. Many members of that band, and their management, have shown me that there is much more to being a musician than just being a solid player. The ability to be selfless with your time and share your experiences and knowledge with others, in the most humble way possible, is just as important. This attitude was truly a reflection of Maynard himself”.
It’s this approach that has allowed Stephen to be involved in some truly great projects and be someone that is called on in the Chicago studio circuit. He has been featured on Katie Todd’s CD entitled “Mumbled Speech” (2009), as both a soloist and backing vocalist. Also, he has been involved as a soloist in studio projects by groups such as The Great Crusades, Laura Thompson, Michael Moravek, The Planeausters, Wes Hollywood, 30 Helens, Ode, Katie Scrantom, and the great soul singer Marvin Smith (El Dorados/The Artistics). Some of Stephen’s work has also been used in films such as the movie “Four” by writer/director Patrick Wimp, which was an award winner at the Illinois International Film Festival in 2009.
Stephen continues to perform and teach in Chicago, where he is beginning work on his first solo release entitled “Just Being Ernest”, which will incorporate elements of jazz, funk, electronic, pop, and rock all wound up in a nice little package.
– Stomvi V-Raptor II Bb Trumpets
– Yamaha Flugelhorns
– Flex Mouthpieces (specifically the 12F-VR with a #4 Coupler for increased gap distance) by Stomvi
– Applied Microphone Technologies P800W microphone and Wi5C wireless system
– Apogee Gio USB Controller for Mac and Mainstage 2 software