Syreeta Thompson is in a class by herself. The venerable musician is the only female trumpeter in Gospel music, and is one of the most renowned and beloved horn players in jazz music circles. This month, she releases a new single titled “Change Is on the Way”, which features stirring vocals from the Love Fellowship Church Praise Team. The single is available on all digital outlets.
“Changes Is on the Way” is a rousing Sunday morning song that showcases the impressive prowess of Thompson, who studied with the renowned Bill Fielder (he also counts Wynton Marsalis and Terrance Blanchard among his former students). Thompson is now also training the next generation of musicians in her role as Instrumental Music Departmental Chair for Middle School at the Cicely Tyson School for the Performing Arts in East Orange, New Jersey. She has held this position for eight years while simultaneously continuing to make appearances and compose music of her own.
“I love to play and I love to inspire people,” says Thompson, who first began playing the trumpet when she was 12 years old. “I am grateful every day that I get to do both.” Thompson was first inspired by the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the ensemble’s performance on “A La Mode” in particular. Her playing style is profoundly influenced by Blanchard and Marsalis. Marsalis says of Thompson: “Syreeta has developed into a highly skilled and proficient trumpet player. Her sound reminds me of the Great Cootie Williams.” She grew up in a home with a jazz musician father and evangelist mother – and both have an imprint on the career she now leads.
Thompson makes appearances at schools and churches around the country, and she also serves as Arts Education Director for Dorinda Clark Cole’s National Singers and Musicians Conference.
“Change is on The Way” will be followed by the release of an EP in early 2016.