Multi-Grammy Award nominated trombonist/sea shells player/vocalist Stafford Hunter is a Philadelphia native born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He became a professional musician at the age of 16 and was a winner of the Al Grey Award for Musical Excellence, which acknowledged Hunter as "the Most Promising Jazz Trombone Talent." He is a graduate of the New School Jazz & Contemporary Music Program (NYC); he was the first trombonist to graduate from the New School Jazz Program.
Besides his work in music, he appeared as a model in the December 1992 issue of L'Uomo Vogue, which also featured jazz greats like Milt Hinton, Clark Terry, and Louie Bellson. He appeared in a documentary film on the pianist Dorothy Donegan and acted in a movie titled The Day the Ponies Come Back, which was released March 2001 in France. He also appeared in a Diet Coke television commercial which featured Elton John.
Hunter performed at former U.S. President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. Since then, he has performed, recorded, and toured all over the world with the likes of Illinois Jacquet, McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie & Brass Fantasy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Charli Persip, Charles Tolliver, Tony Bennett, Roy Hargrove, the Donald Byrd Dance Troupe, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Joss Stone, Orrin Evans, the Mingus Big Band, Lauryn Hill, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Reggie Workman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Lenny Kravitz, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amy Winehouse, Oliver Lake, and Steve Turre & Sanctified Shells. He was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra for 21 years.
Presently, Hunter performs with the Captain Black Big Band and many groups in the U.S. and worldwide as well as his own ensembles. He gives master classes, lectures, lessons, and concerts as a special guest in Japan, Russia, Europe, and around the world.
My path in life has led me to this point in life—educating the youth of America. Music and the arts are just what this world needs right now. With my help, I believe I can help students see the importance of being musicians.
- Multiple-time Grammy Award nominee
- Performed at former U.S. President Bill Clinton's first inauguration
- Performed for King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
B.F.A., Jazz Studies - New School Jazz Program in New York City
M.M., Jazz Studies - Lamont School of Music at University of Denver