MTSU jazz faculty honor trumpet great Wheeler in f...

MTSU jazz faculty honor trumpet great Wheeler in free Nov. 17 concert

MTSU’s jazz faculty will pay tribute to legendary trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kenny Wheeler with a special free concert, “Flutter By, Butterfly: Remembering Kenny Wheeler,” set Monday, Nov. 17.

Legendary trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kenny Wheeler, who died at age 84 in September, is shown in this June 2012 photo recording his penultimate album, “Mirrors,” with Norma Winstone and the London Vocal Project. (photo courtesy of Tim Dickeson)

The 7:30 p.m. event will be held in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus. It is free and open to the public.

A special video presentation will precede the concert at 7:10 p.m.

Wheeler, who died at age 84 in London in September, led numerous large and small ensembles and has been called a “fearless improviser.”

Honoring his legacy will be MTSU faculty Mike Parkinson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Don Aliquo on tenor and soprano saxophone, Pat Coil on piano, Jim Ferguson on bass and vocals, Derrek Philips on drums and Gerald Trottman on vocals.

The group will perform works from Wheeler’s recordings from ECM, CamJazz, ArtistHouse and Soul Note, including “Everybody’s Song But My Own,” “Gentle Piece,” “114,” “Winter Suite,” “Where Do We Go From Here,” “Mark Time” and “Three for D’reen.”

Jazz faculty members also will play “How Deep Is The Ocean,” an Irving Berlin standard that Wheeler often performed, and “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” in a special arrangement by Parkinson in homage to Wheeler.

Wheeler, a native of Canada, grew up in a musical family. He learned cornet at age 12 and studied trumpet and theory at the Toronto Conservatory of Music before moving to London in 1952.

In his early career he worked with big bands but was soon influenced by trumpet artists Miles Davis, Booker Little and Fats Navarro.

Wheeler led numerous large and small ensembles, as well as Azimuth, a trio he co-founded with pianist John Taylor and vocalist Norman Winstone, during his career of almost 60 years.

He performed and recorded with John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Coleman, Marc Copland, Chris Potter and the Berlin Contemporary Orchestra and was still collaborating on recordings as recently as 2011.

For more information on this and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit the “Concert Calendar” at

— Gina E. Fann (