Derrick Gardner

"My instructional philosophy for teaching jazz trumpet is built around two important rules. First, play the instrument correctly focusing on proper technique and moving the wind forward at all times; and second, apply this "forward moving wind" to jazz improvisation. This is easier said than done, which reveals that jazz improvisation on the trumpet has to have a "strategic focus on the WIND." With this strategic focus, your improvisational ideas will become a reality." - Derrick Garden

Jazz trumpeter, Derrick Gardner, inspired by the finest hard-blowing funky bop bands of the 1950’s and ‘60’s is, is working to extend that great tradition as a composer, arranger, performer, leader and educator. Derrick quickly made his mark upon arriving on the New York jazz scene in 1991. There he began a top-flight career that has taken him around the world performing and recording with some of the biggest names known to the history of jazz music. Derrick’s performances have reached around the world in the various countries of Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Russia, Uruguay, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Thailand as well as many premiere venues in the United States.

Mr. Gardner formed his own sextet, The Jazz Prophets, in 1991. This group continues to be the primary vehicle of his distinctive, hard-driving music taking the traditional straight ahead sound into new, invigorating territory. Derrick has an exceptional record as a dedicated and inspiring teacher. He has been a member of the jazz faculties at Long Island University, The New School for Social Research, The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and The Julliard School of Music bringing over 20 years of teaching experience to the classroom.

B. Music (Hampton University)
M. Music (Rutgers University)


Over the last 27 years Derrick has worked with a tremendous litany of artists that include late Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Frank Foster, Jon Faddis, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Rufus Reid, Stefon Harris, Clark Terry, the Count Basie Orchestra, (1991-present), Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Band, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Jazz Heritage Orchestra, The Saturday Night Live Band and Swiss tenor player Roman Schwaller‟s European Sextet just to name a few.

Derrick led the Jazz Prophets on three recordings beginning with the highly regarded Slim Goodie in 2005 on the Impact Jazz label. The following recording, A Ride to the Other Side, marked his Owl Studios debut in 2008. The Jazz Prophets’ second release on the Owl Studios label and third group recording, Echoes of Ethnicity, was heralded with rave reviews and received the honor of being awarded “Best Jazz Album of the Year‟ by the Independent Music Awards.

• Analysis of the arranging style of Frank Foster
• Improvisational Hexatonics for the Jazz Trumpet Player
• Improvisational Climactic Devices for the Jazz Trumpet Player




Associate Professor
Babs Asper Professor in Jazz Performance
Jazz Trumpet professor
Director of U of M Jazz Orchestra
Jazz History Professor

Room 337 Taché Hall
Desautels Faculty of Music
University of Manitoba
136 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg, MB. R3T 2N2
Phone: 204-272-1673