Earl Gardner

"I never thought I would find a medium-large bore trumpet that I enjoy this much! When I tried the Cannonball 789 RL, I was pleasantly surprised by the openness and consistency of the horn through all the registers. It has more room than I expected and it gets a big, full sound. I play the Cannonball on Saturday Night Live and on Broadway and, bottom line, it’s just fun to play!" ~ Earl Gardner


Earl Gardner is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Music and Art High School. He began his professional career in Philadelphia where he attended Temple University. He moved back to New York in 1976 to play lead trumpet in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra where he remained for 29 years and gained a reputation among colleagues and critics alike as one of the jazz world's premier lead trumpeters. He has been a member of many of the world's most notable big bands including the McCoy Tyner Big Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Carla Bley Big Band, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and the Mingus Big Band. He has performed extensively throughout the world with these bands and has been featured on many of their Grammy Award-winning recordings. Earl was also the subject of a feature article in Down Beat magazine entitled "Lead Trumpet Supreme."

Earl is a multifaceted artist with ties to the jazz and commercial recording fields. He has appeared with countless artists including Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Queen Latifah, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick, Jr., Paul Simon, Luther Vandross, Sarah Vaughn and Nancy Wilson on recordings as well as in live performances at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

Earl has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1985. Additional television highlights include performances on the Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, The Mark Twain Prize at The Kennedy Center, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Show with David Lettterman, the Today Show, and Good Morning America.

Earl has also been a member of the orchestra for numerous Broadway shows including Annie, Anything Goes, Come Fly Away, La Cage Aux Folles, The Boy From Oz, Sideshow, Play On!, Saturday Night Fever, and Me and My Girl.

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