Celebrated trumpeter and flugelhornist Jimmy Owens began playing trumpet at age 14. By age 15, the Bronx native had already sat in with Miles Davis, and the collaborations with other jazz luminaries would only deepen and continue. Owens has played with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton among other musicians in his nearly 50-year career.
In addition to his extensive musicianship, Owens is also an educator and advocate for jazz musicians’ health and pension benefits. A sitting boardmember of the Jazz Foundation of America, the brass musician was instrumental in the founding of its Jazz Musician’s Emergency Fund.
Owens was recently named a 2012 Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts for his distinguished musical career and advocacy work. On Tuesday night, he kicks off a week-long residency at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in celebration of the honor and of his latest work, The Monk Project, a new album of originally arranged Thelonious Monk standards.
Download Owens’s blues-inflected reimagination of the late piano legend’s “Epistrophy” above and in the video below, listen to Owens’ 1976 psychedelic funk composition “What’s The Use.”