Taylor Barnett is a Richmond, Virginia based trumpeter, teacher, and composer whose innovative work in jazz, classical, and commercial music places him on the forefront of the musical vanguard. In 2001 he was awarded First Place in the Jazz Division of the National Trumpet Competition. Taylor was a founding member of Devil’s Workshop Big Band and has has performed with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, the Charlottesville Oratorio Society, and with artists such as Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Frankie Avalon, Steve Wilson, Ray Anderson, John D’earth, and René Marie. As a composer, Taylor’s work is published by UNC Jazz Press and has been commissioned by trumpeter Rex Richardson for performances at international music festivals in Australia, Portugal, China, and the U.S. Taylor is an active member of the creative music scene in Richmond as a member of No B.S. Brass Band, Mingus Awareness Project Big Band, and as a leader of his own jazz quartet. Taylor received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University.
A dedicated educator, Taylor has served as the director of the instrumental music program at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, a full-time high school for gifted students. There he taught and developed the curriculum for two jazz ensembles, jazz improvisation, string orchestra, and music theory. While at Maggie Walker, Taylor established a guest-artist series focusing on free-jazz and avant garde music that allowed his students to observe and play with internationally acclaimed artists including Ken Vandermark, Jim Black, Andrew D’Angelo, Hilmar Jensson, and Joe Morris. He is currently an adjunct professor at VCU directing the Jazz Orchestra II, teaching theory/aural skills classes, teaching in the applied trumpet studio, and teaching jazz history.