Adam Meckler is a trumpet player, composer and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. He holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Lawrence University, and a M.M in Trumpet Performance from the University of Minnesota. Adam has toured with Youngblood Brass Band, The Jana Nyberg Group, Lulu's Playground, the Jack Brass Band, and Todd Clouser's A Love Electric. He also plays regularly with Nooky Jones, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, The Brass Barn Polka Band, The Good The Bad The Funky and The Pete Whitman X-Tet.
Meckler was the 2014 recipient of MacPhail Center for Music's Artist Development Grant resulting in When the Clouds Look Like This, a full length album of original music for Jazz Orchestra composed and directed by Meckler. In December of 2014, When The Clouds Look Like This was listed among 2014's Best Releases on iTunes.
Meckler holds Faculty positions in trumpet and Jazz at McNally Smith College of Music, and MacPhail Center for Music. He is also one of three founders of SoKillingMan.com, a site dedicated to transcription and analysis of jazz solos. He is an active educator/clinician maintaining a trumpet studio in the Twin Cities and performing clinics and workshops all over the US.
You can hear Adam's music, take a look at his calendar and purchase his records at adammeckler.com. Follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamMeckler.
My name is Adam Meckler. I am a trumpet player and composer/arranger, and I frequently work as a trumpet teacher and clinician. For the last three years, the majority of my time has been spent building an audience for my 18 piece Jazz Orchestra by writing new original music, rehearsing, and playing monthly shows with the Adam Meckler Orchestra. My big band compositions are improvisational, groove oriented, melodic, and influenced by a range of styles including R&B, Pop, and Gospel. Being the band leader for an 18 piece ensemble made up of young professional musicians is a significant challenge, both logistically and monetarily. There is no logical reason to take on such a monumental task. It is a labor of love. I write music for big band because I believe my music bridges the gap between traditional music for jazz big band, and the music to which I and most others in my age group grew up listening. I love seeing the under 40s crowd in the audience bopping their heads to my brand of big band jazz.
My compositions for jazz orchestra are mostly through-composed works that average 10-12 minutes in length. This means it can take up to two months to write a piece from start to finish. Naturally, this time commitment presents it’s own set of risks. Spending so much time on one project with no guarantee of payment for your time is a leap for any artist, but I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, good things will happen. This has manifested itself in my career through working more frequently with Middle and High School jazz ensembles as a clinician, receiving requests for commissioned works, and has helped me to get hired as jazz and trumpet faculty MacPhail Center for Music and McNally Smith College.
It’s been very exciting to watch as people embrace my music on a larger scale. My Orchestra has now played several Jazz Festivals including the Main Stage of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in 2014, and the Shifitng Pardigm Records Winter Jazz Festival in Febraury of 2015, in addition to our monthly shows at Jazz Central ('12), Artists Quarter ('13), and Amsterdam Bar ('14).
Composing new music for big band and reaching a larger audience with my music is my long term goal. Since the release of my Orchestra's first full-length studio album in September of 2014 (funded in part by an artist development grant from MacPhail Center For Music), When The Clouds Like This has been listed among 2014's best jazz releases on ITunes, MPR, Bebopified, and others sources. This affermation has encourged me to continue to compose new music for jazz orchestra, and revisit my passion for the jazz small group. The Adam Meckler Quintet, which released For Dad in 2009, will be performing regularly again in 2015 and 2016 in preperation for another full-length studio album of original music. I've composed three brand new works for jazz quintet in the last month, and plan to compose 6-8 more new tunes to choose from for a new album. My quintet music is similar to my orchestra's music in that it is influenced by R&B, Pop and Gospel music. It is also often groove-oriented and melodic in nature, but improvisation plays a significantly larger role in this music, and allows me to explore my instincts as an improviser more thoroughly. Recently, I've found myself experimenting with dual tonalities in my small-group and large-group writing. My last three tunes for small group are indicitive of this trend.
Coupled with the National recognition my Orchestra's 2014 release has garnered, my plan is to expand my reputation as a composer and an improviser by releasing an album of original music for jazz quintet. I am excited for the future and what opportunies additional releases and subsequent touring might bring.