Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows Stafford the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
Since the mid-1990’s Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, the Kenny Barron Sextet, the Frank Wess Quintet, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, the Clayton Brothers Quintet, and the Jon Faddis Orchestra. Currently, he is a member of the GRAMMY award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as well as drummer Matt Wilson’s group, “Arts and Crafts,” and drummer Alvin Queen’s group, “Alvin Queen and the Organics.” Stafford has recorded five albums as a leader, including the critically acclaimed Taking Chances (MaxJazz 2007), and is heard on over 80 albums as a sideman.
An educator as well as a performer, Stafford currently holds the positions of Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia and is a clinician for the prestigious Vail Foundation in Colorado and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Program. He has also served as a member of the faculty for the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in New York.
Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.