A strikingly gifted post-bop trumpeter, Ragin's work as performer and composer was held in high esteem by his fellow musicians throughout the 80s and 90s. It was only at the end of the 90s, however, that word began to spread to a wider audience.
Hugh Ragin, inspiring teacher, creative composer and trumpet virtuoso, has been named a trumpeter with very few peers in terms of imagination or technical command by jazz biographer Francis Davis in his notes for the Live At The Knitting Factory recording with Roscoe Mitchell. Ragin has also collaborated with musicians such as David Murray, Anthony Braxton, Dizzy Gillespie, Spencer Barefield, Fred Wesley, Leo Smith, Sun Ra, Maynard Ferguson, D.D. Jackson, Andrew Cyrille and poet Amiri Baraka, on both recorded and live jazz performances that range from bebop and freebop to the most out of avant-garde improvising.
His compositions have been recorded by David Murray, Roscoe Mitchell, D.D. Jackson and Fred Wesley, and yet despite his success as a performer and composer, Ragin insists on being an educator first. His life has formed as a compassionate gesture to share the knowledge, and bring more people into music. For all areas of his teaching, Ragin puts a strong emphasis on the fundamentals.
I like to give enough material so that students can absorb what