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UPCOMING EVENTS

aug 05
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Qiwei Li to Yangzhou University

Qiwei Li has been appointed assistant professor of trumpet at Yangzhou University Conservatory of Music in China. Li is a Chinese native who was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

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In memoriam: Laurie Frink (1951-2013)

Laurie Frink was known as a trumpet performer and brass teacher to many musicians.

She began her career as a section player, but she often performed both lead and section roles, working with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band. Frink was one of the first female trumpeters to perform in the Broadway pit orchestra circuits in New York City.  She was a successful and in-demand freelancer.  Trumpeter John McNeil described her as, “one of the most accurate trumpet player’s I’ve ever heard.” Composer Maria Schneider recalled, “When I wrote these subtle inner parts, I would always give them to her. I knew she was the person who would really spin the heart into the line.”

More recently, Frink worked with acclaimed big bands such as the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and Ryan Druesdell’s Gill Evans Project. Frink performed on every album recorded by the Maria Schneider Orchestras, two of which won Grammy Awards.

Laurie Frink was born in Pender, Nebraska, to James and Carol Frink. She studied with Dennis Schenider, who was the principal trumpet with the Lincoln Symphony at the University of Nebraska. She moved to New York in her early twenties when she met Carmine Caruso. Although a saxophonist, Caruso developed a series of calisthenic trumpet exercises. Frink became Caruso’s protégée, as well as his romantic partner for more than a decade.

She became more involved with teaching, and for the last twenty-some years was a leading brass instructor for jazz musicians. Attracting students from around the world, Frink taught at NYU, the New School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New England Conservatory.  She maintained a private studio and gave online lessons through video chat. Students describe how she tailored lessons to each student’s specific needs. They talk about her warmth, sharp wit, and nurturing qualities. She served as teacher, mentor, and affectionately called her “trumpet mother.” Professionals and students alike came to her to solve potentially career-ending playing problems.

Ten years ago, Frink and colleague John McNeil, another Caruso student, wrote Flexus: Trumpet Calisthenics for the Modern Improvisor, which aims to help improvisors especially improve their physical facility. Last year she received a lifetime achievement award from the non-profit Festival of New Trumpet Music. She was a featured artist at several ITG conferences and recently served on the board of directors.

Laurie Frink is survived by classical violist Lois Martin, her partner of twenty-five years, and her brother James.


Sources:

NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/arts/music/laurie-frinktrumpeter-and-brass-instructor-to-many-dies-at-61.html?_r=0

NPR blog http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2013/07/17/203019606/remembering-laurie-frink-the-trumpet-mother-of-the-jazz-scene

Photo source: NYU website http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/brass/people/faculty/frink

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