Jason Gaines was born in 1979 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He moved to Sacramento, California shortly thereafter and was introduced to music. Jason began playing trumpet at the age of eight. Music was something that seemed to come naturally to him. He began touring as the lead trumpet player of the Monterey Jazz Festival All Star Big Band, under the direction of Bill Berry, at the age of fifteen. Bill Berry has said of Jason,
“He plays excellent lead trumpet and is a good jazz soloist.”
He participated in three tours of Japan and various performances on the main stage of the Monterey Jazz Festival with the band. Jason moved to New York in 1998 to attend the Manhattan School of Music. Since moving to New York, he has studied with trumpet masters Lew Soloff, Cecil Bridgewater, Laurie Frink and Vincent Penzarella, of the New York Philharmonic. When asked about Jason, Cecil Bridgewater replied,
“…I have been impressed by his high degree of musicianship and his ability as a trumpet player.”
Jason made a name for himself as a commercial trumpet player in the New York City Metropolitan area. He participated in various recordings, Broadway productions and live performances with his own quintet, the Jason Gaines Group. His debut album, Passage, in 2004. Jason performed in some of New York City’s most famous venues including B.B. Kings, Smalls, the Blue Note and others. His current projects include independent film and television work. Jason uses Logic Pro and Soundtrack Pro professionally for all of his composition and scoring projects. His deep skill level on these professional applications earned him certifications as a professional and trainer by Apple, Inc. Jason frequently teaches both applications at Apple Authorized Training Centers throughout the United States.
In addition to his performance career, Jason has had a long career in education, teaching in various settings that span K-12, college, and professional training in the field of information technology. He holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Jason created two Apple-authorized Training Centers for Education. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) training centers were integrated into current curricula and provided students with professional certifications and vocational opportunities in media and technology fields. The engaging curriculum tempered truancy, poor student achievement, and failing graduation rates. The programs aided in school turnaround while providing instructional pathways for transitioning from secondary education to college.
Jason graduated with a bachelor of music in jazz trumpet performance from the Manhattan School of Music in December 2001. He continued his studies at the graduate level at New York University, where he completed a Master’s Degree in performance and composition in 2004. Jason is completing his Doctor of Education degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, which he is on track to complete in 2013. He obtained scholarships from the Eubie Blake Foundation as well as New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University. He received numerous jazz soloist awards from the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Reno Jazz Festival. Jason teaches and freelances as a composer and trumpet player in the New York City Metropolitan area. Jason frequently presents at conferences throughout the United States and recently published his first book for Oxford University Press that involves writing music for film and television with technology.
Jason performed and/or recorded with the following musicians and others: Bill Berry, Benny Green, Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard, Teo Macero, Ron McClure, Jackie McLean, Don Menza, Rich Perry, Lenny Pickett, Joshua Redman, Patrice Rushen, Bobby Sanabria, Arturo Sandoval, Maria Schneider, Bobby Shew, Luciana Souza, Bill Watrous, Gerald Wilson and others.