about thomas heflin
Tennessee-born jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin has been hailed as "a fluent trumpeter with a bright tone and a forward-looking style" by jazz writer Scott Yanow. In 2005, he placed second in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle, WA and has since been featured or mentioned in Italy's Jazz Magazine, The Pittsburgh Tribune Review and The International Trumpet Guild Journal among others. He is a co-author of the book Understanding Music: Past and Present.
A recording artist for Blue Canoe Records, Heflin has released three albums on the label. His 2007 debut album "Symmetry" was dedicated to the memory of pianist James Williams, who is featured on half of the recording. In 2009, Heflin produced and performed on "Introducing the New 5" by the cooperative group, The New 5 and In 2011, he released his third album, a collaborative CD with Ron Westray, former lead trombonist with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The album also featured drummer Adonis Rose and bassists Eric Revis and Neal Caine.
As a former member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Heflin has performed with the likes of Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Mulgrew Miller, James Moody, and Monty Alexander; recorded with Stefon Harris, Donald Brown, Gregory Tardy and John Clayton; and performed in festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Ezcaray Jazz Festival, and Jazz a Vienne.
Outside of the KJO, Heflin has performed in a professional capacity with the likes of James Williams, Vincent Herring, and Lou Rawls. From 2009-2014, Heflin lived and performed in New York City with various ensembles including the Kelly Powers Quintet and The Smoke Big Band led by trumpeter Bill Mobley.
Heflin is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he studied with jazz education pioneer, Jerry Coker. He received his masters degree from William Paterson University and his doctorate in Music Performance (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Texas, Austin. In addition to serving as brass instructor at Roane State Community College, he has served as an instructor for the University of Texas Jazz Department, the University Outreach and Continuing Education Program at the University of Tennessee, the Manhattan School of Music Summer Music Camp and The Jefferson Center Jazz Institute. Heflin also served as the Central Greenough Artist-in-Residence in Western Australia as well as the Always on Stage festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
From 2009 to 2014, Heflin worked full-time as Program Manager at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, where he was also on the jazz faculty. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA.