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Gerard Presencer

Gerard Presencer is universally recognized as one of the best trumpet / flugelhorn players in his field. His most celebrated recorded performance, which has lead to his being described as “subliminally, the most famous trumpeter in the world”, is his solo work on the 3 million selling album by US3, “Hand on the Torch” (1993) on Blue Note. It is Gerards' trumpet that is featured so heavily on the big hit of that CD, Cantaloop.

Presencer was born in London on September 12, 1972. At the age of 11 he became a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and at the age of 15 he made his recording debut with the alto Peter King.

Presencer had been playing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for nearly five years, when he got his first important break. He was spotted on a 1988 jazz boat trip out of Southampton, where he was playing with saxophonist Tim Colwell, by Clark Tracey. The celebrated drummer/leader immediately asked Presencer to dep for Guy Barker in his quintet, and subsequently formed a quartet, featuring the 15-year-old as his sole front-line player. “Learning to listen to the rhythm section” and “ relying on my imagination, having no saxophone to fall back on, to share solos with” are the two vital skills Presencer recalls learning in Tracey's band, but it was his securing of the trumpet chair in the prestigious Pizza Express Modern Jazz Sextet that really launched him on the London jazz scene: “That was very important, because I got to play, week after week, with some extremely good players - sharing a front line with Alan Barnes and Dave O'Higgins, and their occasional deps, Tim Garland and Andy Panayi - and it was about then, when I was 18, that I began playing with Stan Tracey, in his big band, octet and septet.” This last connection was responsible for one of Presencer's highest-profile appearances, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall concert marking Stan Tracey's fiftieth year as a professional musician in 1993.

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”Young British hornplayer Gerard Presencer continues to fulfil his early promise by updating Donald Byrd's thing.” BBC Music Magazine

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