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A spectacular trumpeter with a very wide range, a beautiful tone,
and the ability to blend together many influences into his own
style, Byron Stripling is also the artistic director of
the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, leader of his own quartet, and
constantly in demand to play with pops orchestras around the
Byron Stripling was born in Atlanta, the son of a classical singer. “I heard gospel music in church early on. In our house, music was essential to everything. My father loved jazz including Miles Davis, Clark Terry and Louis Armstrong. I did a lot of singing from the start because, when your father is the choir director, you have to sing whatever he needs each Sunday.”
Originally Byron enrolled at the Eastman School of Music with plans to become a classical trumpeter. He met Clark Terry during his freshman year and, after Terry heard him play, he asked Byron to join his big band. The 12 week tour was Byron’s first trip to Europe.
After returning to school, he was three months away from graduation when he realized that he would graduate with no gig. Byron called Clark Terry and asked what he should do now. “Clark called me back a short time later, said that he had talked to Lionel Hampton, and that Lionel wanted to offer me a job. The problem was that Lionel wanted me to join the band right then. I jumped at the chance and never went back to getting my degree.
Other groups Byron played with include: The Woody Herman Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, and orchestras led by Dizzy Gillespie. Byron also played the lead in the musical Satchmo: America’s Musical Legend.