Legendary Trumpet Players and Their Signature Trumpets

Louis Armstrong played on various models of trumpets throughout his career, but he is most closely associated with the Selmer Balanced Action Trumpet. He played this model from the mid-1930s until the end of his career, and it became known as the "Louis Armstrong model" due to its association with the legendary musician. However, it's worth noting that Armstrong also played other brands and models of trumpets throughout his life, including those made by Conn and Martin.

Louis-Armstrong-KGUmusic

Miles Davis played several different trumpet models and brands throughout his career. In the earlier part of his career, he played a variety of horns, including a Martin Committee, a Conn 22B, and a Bach Stradivarius. In the 1970s, he famously played a custom-made horn built for him by Martin. The Martin Committee was his most frequently used horn, and it is often associated with his signature sound.

It's worth noting that Miles Davis was known for constantly experimenting with different equipment, and he was not particularly attached to any one horn or brand. He often used different mutes, mouthpieces, and other accessories to achieve specific sounds and textures.    

Miles-Davis-KGUmusic

Dizzy Gillespie is famously associated with the Conn 18B "Dizzy Gillespie" trumpet, which was a custom-made instrument that he played throughout much of his career. However, he also played several other trumpet models and brands throughout his life, including the King Silver Flair, the Martin Committee, and the Getzen Eterna.

Dizzy Gillespie KGUmusic

Chet Baker was known to play various models and brands of trumpets throughout his career, and he often switched between them depending on his preferences and the musical situation. However, he was particularly associated with playing a Vincent Bach trumpet, specifically the model known as the Bach Stradivarius. In fact, he was known to have played several different Bach Stradivarius trumpets over the course of his career, and his signature sound was often attributed in part to the particular Bach trumpet he was playing at the time.

Chet Baker KGUmusic

Clifford Brown played on a number of different trumpet models and brands throughout his career, but he is perhaps best known for playing a Martin Committee trumpet. He started playing on a Conn 22B trumpet before switching to a Martin Committee in the mid-1950s. The Martin Committee was a popular choice among jazz musicians during that time, and it became Brown's preferred instrument. He played on a number of different versions of the Martin Committee, including a large-bore model that he used in the later years of his career.

Clifford Brown KGUmusic

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3 comments

do you know what type of trumpet Maurice Brown is using on this “tiny desk” concert? Thanks Ron.

https://youtu.be/05EW61wUoLU?si=ePuXHd0-MnZAxVpV

ron bailey March 04, 2024

Thanks for this article.
I’m still playing my French Selmer. center balance horn. Got it approx. 1956, used from my trumpet teacher
Great horn, too good for me…

Mel Prrzant October 25, 2023

I played a 65 King Silver FLAIR with the USAF RESERVE COMMAND JAZZ BAND From 67-71as a High Note lead.Several other players converted from more well known brands once they heard the projection & timbre on the FLAIR.The later versions after N.H White ownership, were not quite the same!

Danny Bodenbender October 25, 2023

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