Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Roger Ingram, musician, educator and author, is one of the most sought after and prolific jazz lead trumpet players of our time, with more than thirty-eight years of professional experience to his credit. Well known for his dynamic sound and solid upper register, as well as his hard driving sense of swing, Roger's musical legacy is embodied by his respect and regard for artistic integrity. Ingram's definitive voice and performance mastery undoubtedly place him among the lineage of great lead trumpeters in the history of jazz music.
Roger began playing the trumpet in 1965 at the age of eight. He was fortunate to grow up in Los Angeles, and become associated with some of the finest Hollywood trumpet players of the time. Many of these introductions came through his association with the band director at Eagle Rock High School. In addition to being an inspiring high school band director, John Rinaldo was also a gifted and working trumpet player on the LA scene. Through Mr. Rinaldo, Roger was able to meet and study with Laroon Holt and Bobby Shew. Other teachers he studied with include Bud Brisbois, Mannie Klein, Roy Stevens, Bobby Findley, Carmine Caruso, Reynold Schilke, James Stamp, Uan Rasey, Mel Broils, and Dan Jacobs.
John Rinaldo spearheaded one of the most fertile and successful high school jazz programs in the country. From that jazz program came such great musicians as drummers Carlos Vega and Sam Wiley, bassists Scott Colley and David Stone, guitarist Larry Koonse, and saxophonists Doug Rinaldo, Brian Mitchell, and Gary Hypes. Also from that program emerged trombonists Arturo Velasco and Luis Bonilla, pianist Guy Steiner, and trumpeters Bobby Muzingo and Buddy Gordon.
At the age of sixteen, Roger toured with the great Louie Bellson Big Band, sharing his section duties with Blue Mitchell, Bobby Shew, Cat Anderson and Frank Szabo. After his stint with Bellson, Ingram joined the Quincy Jones Big Band for a summer. Immediately following that tour, Roger spent a year touring with the Connie Stevens show, playing lead trumpet for the first time with a pop act.
Starting at eighteen, Roger played first trumpet with the international pop star Tom Jones, remaining with him for six years. After his tenure with Jones, Roger moved to Las Vegas, where for two years he gained invaluable experience playing production shows and star acts on the world renowned Las Vegas Strip.
In 1985, Roger joined the famous Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trumpet. Roger remained with Woody until Herman's death in 1987, recording three Grammy nominated albums with the legendary band leader: 50th Anniversary Tour, Woody's Gold Star, and The Concord Years. Roger's tenure with Herman's Thundering Herd was a vital developmental period, as he matured into one of the world's preeminent lead trumpet players. Roger is recognized as the last lead trumpeter to play with the true Woody Herman Orchestra.
Roger returned to his hometown of Los Angeles after Woody's death, co-leading his own big band with the late Steve Elliott. The Ingram-Elliott big band featured talented artists as Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous and Gary Foster. In 1988, Roger worked with the famous WDR Jazz Orchestra in Cologne, Germany. While in Germany, Ingram recorded works by Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeeley, featuring Mel Lewis on drums. Later that same year, Roger joined the orchestra of one of his trumpet inspirations, Maynard Ferguson. Roger recorded three albums with the high note legend. After touring with Maynard, Roger collaborated with Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, recording the Grammy Award winning album, Danzon.
In 1990, Roger joined the newly formed big band of singer, pianist, composer, and arranger, Harry Connick, Jr. Roger recorded three albums with Harry, working with him until the orchestra temporarily disbanded in 1993. The following year, Roger toured with vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Later that year, Roger moved to New York City, joining Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Roger recorded three albums with Marsalis, including the Pulitzer-Prize winning, Blood on the Fields. Roger eventually left Jazz at Lincoln Center to tour and record with the legendary Ray Charles for two years.
In 1996, Harry Connick, Jr. reorganized his big band. This was a very busy period for Roger as he was working for many artists at the same time. Simultaneously, he was touring with Harry, Ray Charles, Paul Anka, and (before 1997) Jazz at Lincoln Center. After the reorganization of Harry's big band, Roger played lead trumpet on the Grammy nominated album, Come by Me. In April 2000, the album was certified GOLD by the RIAA. Among the many albums Roger recorded with Harry Connick, Jr., most noteworthy are Blue Light, Red Light, When My Heart Finds Christmas, the Grammy winning Songs I Heard, Harry for the Holidays, Only You, Chanson du Vieux Carre, and Oh My NOLA.
While residing in New York Roger performed in a freelance capacity in over 20 Broadway productions. In addition, Roger played trumpet for the Alvin Ailey dance theatre and he was the principal trumpet player in the broadway shows and cast albums of Thou Shalt Not, The Pajama Game, and Harry on Broadway, Act 1.
In 2007, Roger moved to the Chicago area, and penned the trumpet textbook, Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing in 2008, which to date has been sold in over 40 countries, and is on the required or recommended reading list for many undergraduate and graduate music programs world-wide.
From the beginning of Roger's career through present day, he has performed at jazz festivals around the world: the Monterey Jazz Festival, The Concord Jazz Festival, Montreux, Nice, Newport, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and The Rimpelrock Festival. He has made appearances at multiple LA Jazz Institute festivals, the Midwest Band Clinic, the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), the Charles Colin Brass Conference, NAMM (the International Music Products Association), JEN (the Jazz Educators Network), and the International Trumpet Guild Conference.
Roger is a Jupiter Performing Artist and Clinician, and in 2009, with Jupiter Band Instruments, designed the Jupiter XO Series 1600I professional Bb trumpet. He books clinics and lessons through his Chicago office. Roger's busy schedule includes performing at jazz festivals around the world, doing pedagogy tours where he presents masterclasses/clinics, gives private lessons, and performs as guest soloist with high school, university, and professional jazz ensembles. Roger is currently Artist in Residence at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. While home in Chicago, he gives private lessons, performs live concerts with a variety of local, regional, and national acts, and is often found in the recording studio.