Jacob Varmus

Born: October 6, 1973    Primary Instrument: Cornet

Jacob Varmus

Being pushed in a pram along the banks of La Scala in 1976 the two-year old Jacob Varmus suddenly emitted squeals and shrieks of unmasked delight. The most rapturous sounds he'd ever heard were bouncing off the plaza stone: a lone trumpeter's warming up from within open stage doors at the local opera house. Ten years later Jacob Varmus had a trumpet of his own and began winning top marks at all the California Music Educators' Association festivals for his work as soloist (Haydn's trumpet concerto and Goedicke's Concert Etude) and chamber musician.

Evolving parallel to his love of music was an interest and talent in using language artistically thru poetry, critical essays, and autobiographical stories. In high school he won awards for poetry and sports journalism (an avid San Francisco Giants fan) as well as music. His first year of college, Jacob was admitted to the undergraduate Iowa Writers Workshop for poetry where he studied closely with MacArthur grant recipient Jorie Graham. At Iowa he also had the good fortune of studying with classical trumpet virtuoso David Greenhoe....
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First Place International Trumpet Guild Student Jazz Competition, 1994; KJA Jazz Advocate Top Ten Albums of the Year (All the Things We Still Can Be, 2006) Queens Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Grant for Queens Library Jazz Series, 2008 Banff Centre For the Arts scholarship, 2005 Queens Council on the Arts commission, 2005
”Prior to hearing his first major release, All the Things We Still Can Be, I was unfamiliar with trumpet player and composer Jacob Varmus. I have to admit that it will often take listening to a few tracks before I warm up to, or can fully appreciate, the style of an artist that is unknown to me, but with Varmus I was drawn in from the first cut. ”He plays with a pleasing round and full sound, and his improvisations are lyrical and musical. ”His compositions have a sense of purpose and structure with very listenable and memorable melody lines. ”I am personally eager to hear what he offers up next.”-Scott Hockenberry, Jazz Improv Magazine

“a powerful trumpet utterance.... The Jacob Varmus band astounds us with a euphonic elaboration including plenty of ardour, reverberations and candle luminance. Varmus is more than generous here. His musings lay on the music of monstrous jazz creators such as Shorter and Monk. Yet Varmus sounds unique among as his peers. That said, Varmus’s inspiration on Chet and Miles is brilliant, gently marked and pushed along by be-bop and post-bop oriented structures.”-Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez,

”On Jacob Varmus' debut recording he proves to be an exciting trumpeter, composer and bandleader.”-Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz

”Here's a new trumpet player that will simply blow you away. Falling in love with trumpet at 2 years old, he has carried his life long love affair with the instrument to extremes that have really taken him places along the way. This set shows him falling right in step with the masters and the greats. While he might be paying a debt of gratitude, he mostly stands on his own two feet with a smooth, round tone that's all his own and will earn him stature right next to the greats that have come before. A pure player that doesn't go in for farce or overwrought chops displays, Varmus is one solid jazzbo to keep an ear out for because he's too good to miss.” -Chris Spector,Midwest Record Recap

“Be all you can be' is the feeling you get when you hear the jazz trumpet of one Jacob Varmus...And, as you take in his talent as well, Jacob's artistry is 'all that he is.' Jacob's bebop concept has very traditional leanings as seen through the musical eyes of his fine mind & original compositions. In addition to his obvious abilities as a stylistic consolidator, he explores elements of jazz that he exults in performing with a certain passionate energy, interpreting his music with equal ease, while he emits the sheer joy of making art, music, et al. Check him out!!” George W. Carroll,The Musicians' Ombudsman

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Terminal Stillness
Crows' Kin Records (2013)

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