Lew Soloff is a storied figure in American music. His virtuosity on a standard trumpet (plus piccolo
trumpet, flugelhorn, and mutes) encompasses jazz, classical, pop, rock, r&b, and other styles and
contexts. Showcasing remarkable range and technique, and considerable warmth of expression, he has
been a pillar on the New York City music scene since the mid-1960s.
Influenced by Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and other trumpet giants, Soloff first showed up in jazz
clubs about the time he was finishing up his graduate studies in music at Juilliard. (Earlier in the 1960s
he had received an undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music.) The Brooklyn-born
trumpeter subsequently worked with first-rate Latin jazz bands (including that of “Mambo King”
Machito) as well as committed jazzmen like Phil Woods, Pepper Adams, and Elvin Jones; he also played
in the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, and Joe Henderson & Kenny
Dorham. Several years with early jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears brought him to the attention of
rock audiences, while, beginning in the early-1970s, touring overseas with prominent jazz bandleaderarranger-
composer Gil Evans helped earn him global acclaim from fans and music critics.