Desert Island Jazz
Terell Stafford (2012)

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(Photo by Philip Lévy-Stab)

Terell Stafford was born in Miami, and grew up in Chicago and later in Maryland. Notwithstanding his father's having attended the same Florida school as Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Terell had little interest in jazz. For him, the classical trumpet—Haydn and Hummel—was everything, and he got a degree in musical education from the University of Maryland.

But Terell had given up trumpet for non-musical activities (computer programming, and teaching trigonometry) when he was encouraged by Wynton Marsalis to resume his studies, studying with Dr William Fielder at Rutgers University, whence he graduated with a master's in classical trumpet.

While at Rutgers, Terell was able to join Bobby Watson’s Horizon, and since graduation he's played with Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner’s Latin All-Star Band, and the sextets of, again, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, and Kenny Barron. (Kenny, while on the staff at Rutgers, had helped Terell with his jazz practicing, unbeknownst to Dr Fielder, who had discouraged him from playing jazz.) Terell has also played with the Grammy Award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; and he's a member of drummer Matt Wilson’s group “Arts and Crafts”.

With half a dozen recordings as a leader to his credit, Terell's most recent is the excellent "This Side of Strayhorn".

Terell is currently the Director of Jazz Studies and the Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Freddie Hubbard Ready for Freddie Birdlike Blue Note
# 2 Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley Happy Talk Capitol
# 3 Roy Eldridge The Complete Verve Studio Sessions The Way You Look Tonight Mosaic
# 4 Hank Mobley Soul Station Remember Blue Note
# 5 Lee Morgan Candy Candy Blue Note
# 6 Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life Sir Duke Motown
# 7 Shirley Horn Here's to Life Here's to Life Verve
# 8 Dexter Gordon Doin' Allright Society Red Blue Note
Book James McBride, "The Color of Water"
Luxury Item "My iPad ... I have my books on there, I have my music on there, I have my games on there ... everything."
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