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I LOVED the book. What a great idea to do the 3 most influential lead guys ever.  Truly a work of love and thank you from all the trumpet players in the world.

Rick Baptist

LA Recording Artist

This book is an invaluable resource of true lead trumpet legends. Kudos to you Jason for capturing the stylistic concepts of these three greats that paved the way for aspiring lead trumpet players. Thanks for your hard work and insight into some of my trumpet heros!

Brian MacDonald

Lead Trumpet, USAF Airmen of Note

This 61 year old trumpet player thought your book was fantastic. I’ve been playing the trumpet since I was twelve, and the book gave me information that I never knew...Maybe a book in the future about my hero Al Hirt? I will tell all of my friends about your new book.

Lee Clark

Leavenworth, KS

Read the Discussion of FOFT on Trumpet Herald


I want to draw attention to a book I just purchased in case others on the forum might be interested in the topic. Usual disclaimers, just a customer, no connection, etc. 

"Fathers of First Trumpet" was written by Jason Levi, and it's a 52 page look at the styles and background of three hugely important players in the evolution of modern lead playing, Snooky Young, Al Porcino, and Conrad Gozzo. (Jason includes an explanation very early in the book regarding his view of Maynard as a soloist and bandleader rather than a lead player, and makes it very clear no disrespect is intended by not including Maynard.) Jason has a bachelor's and master's from UNT, played in the one o'clock from 2004-2007, and is now in Dallas. 

It's a very interesting read, and includes some examples of the style these players brought to specific tunes, including online soundfile excerpts. It apparently started out as a 10 page project in grad school at UNT, and he fleshed it out quite a bit. It's available on his website, Unlike a lot of other self-published books, it's well formatted and free of glaring typos or bizarre writing conventions that make many self-published works painful to read. Jason's book is very readable and well-edited. It's being shipped by a print-on-demand service,, and the book itself is nicely bound and features cartoons by the ubiquitous Steve Weist. 

So I'd like to offer my personal congratulations to Jason for publishing such an interesting study, especially at such a young age. My hope is that he'll continue to dig further into these three players' careers and bring out a 2nd edition with even more excerpts and commentary. Highly recommended.

"Yammie" (review found on

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Reviews for Fathers of First Trumpet

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