Like most other forms of entertainment, males are predominant and given more accolades than females of the same profession. In this case, female trumpet players are no exception.
Compared to their male counterparts, there are not many female trumpet players out there. However, that doesn’t mean they’re too few to be acknowledged or that they’re underskilled.
These female legends have made and broken records that few or none of the male trumpeters have achieved or made. Sure, these female trumpeters serve as inspiration for beginner, intermediate and even pro trumpeters.
We’ve detailed some list of the best female trumpet players for you and I hope their success stories and achievements inspire you to become just that amazing trumpeter you were meant to be.
1. ALISON BALSOM
First on our list of the best female trumpet players is Alison Louise Balsom and English trumpeter was born in 1978, October 7 precisely in England. Balsom is an award winning trumpeter that started taking lessons in piano when she was just seven years old at the school in her home town Hitchin.
Alison Balsom played in Royston Town Band from when she turned eight to when she was fifteen, and attended about two different schools at the time. By the time she was fifteen, Alison Balsom was already in National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and she did play in the orchestra until she was eighteen years.
Balsom won the Principal’s highest mark prize as a first class graduate from the drama and music school in Guildhall. Alison Balsom continued her studies in music at the drama and music academy of Royal Scottish.
Towards the end of the year 2001, Balsom Alison turned twenty-three (23) and started her career in music in that same year. A year after she began playing professionally, Alison released a debut album that she made with one of the record labels that she played with. It is important to note that Alison Balsom is a soloist and also plays the classical genre of music.
By the year 2005—three years after Balsom released her first debut, she made another disc. Louise Balsom won an award at the Classical Brit Awards in 2006—the ‘Young British Classical Performer’ Award. She also won an award at the gramophone Awards of Classical fm, and in 2009 she won the award of artist of the year that she maintained in 2011. Alison is passionate about music and so teaches music too.
2. ANDREA MOTIS
Andrea Motis was born in 1995 in Spain (Barcelona precisely). She has the basic knowledge of music and plays the saxophone as well as the trumpet (which is her major instrument). More so, Andrea knows how to sing in various languages, some of which includes: Portuguese, English, Catalan, and Spanish. Motis started playing the trumpet quite early especially as she studied under Chamorro Joan at the Sant Andreu School of music in the municipal.
Chamorro later recruited Andrea Motis in his own band. As she progressed in her career, Andrea Motis recorded a lot songs and released them. Her most popular records are the following: the ‘Emotional Dance’ that was released in 2017 and the ‘Do Outro Lado Do Azul’ that was released in 2019. However her first record was released in 2010 while she was with Chamorro Joan, the recorded album was inspired by the jazz under her trumpet instructor.
It is necessary to share and to note that Andrea Motis did not begin her career in music singing, let alone singing in about four different languages that have been shared above. She picked an interest in singing from learning from Chamorro Joan. Andrea Motis is a twenty-seven year old who knows how to play the trumpet with great harmony as well as sing with great melody.
3. BRIA SKONBERG
Bria Skonberg was born at Chiliwack, Canada in 1983. Bria Skonberg is a Canadian vocalist and trumpeter as well. She has been a part of two record labels: Random act label and Sony masterworks. Her genre of music is jazz and she plays that with a lot experience as well as creativity.
She is recognized as versatile musician, as well as an imposing musician of her time and age. Bria Skonberg’s musical journey began with her playing the piano as a child, before she eventually started to learn and to play the trumpet in high school. She studied at the Capilano University, where she earned herself a degree in jazz trumpet around 2006.
As Skonberg advanced in her music career, she became a part of several bands and was able to lead some of these bands. For instance, she was a part of Bria’s hot five and the Big band jazz band. More so, Bria Skonberg was also a part of Richards Dal’s orchestra in his recordings and also in his concert. She has since then performed with Wycliffe Gordon, Shaye Cohn, Howard Alden and also Bucky Pizarelli.
Bria Skonberg won an award for her album ‘Bria’—a crowd-funded album, and the award is called ‘Juno Award’ in 2017; the award was for the vocal jazz album of the year. She is the co-founder of New York Hot Festival and has won about six awards since the beginning of her music career.
4. CINDY BRADELY
Cindy Bradely was born in 1977 and like most trumpeters we have here, Cindy Bradley’s career in music began when she had to pick an instrument in one of her band classes. She was just nine at the time and she chose the brass instrument called the trumpet.
That notwithstanding, Cindy also knew how to play the piano, she also learnt that while she was young, but overtime she got her degree in the performance of the jazz trumpet and in the studies of jazz. By 2007 Bradley recorded and released “just a little bit”, which is her first album; and by 2009 (two years after she released the first one), she released “Bloom” her second album.
Cindy has won so many awards since her years of active performance, she has performed at a variety of jazz events or festivals, and she organizes various trumpet workshops for students in the colleges and the high school.
5. TINE THING HELSETH
Tine Helseth was born in 1987 in Norway. She plays the trumpet and loves to play soloist. Her genre of music is the classical. Helseth was seven years old when she joined her school band, and that was when she began to learn and play the trumpet. She studied music at the academy of music in Norway form 2009 to 2011, prior to that, she studied music at the Barratt Due Institute of music from 2002 up till 2009. Since her career, Tine has won several awards and leads an all females band.
6. Cynthia Robinson
Robinson was the first female trumpet player to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was also one of the first female trumpeters to play in a major American band. Robinson’s professional career began in 1966 when Sly Stone formed a band that he called the “Stoners”.
Robinson was a member of this band. The trumpet player was primarily recognised for her upbeat melodies as well as her inventive vocals and ad-libs. She was also a member of the funk band Graham Central Station, which was led by her cousin, and she collaborated with several other artists, including Prince and George Clinton.
7. Valaida Snow
In the history of American jazz, Valaida Snow is considered to be one of the most important figures. She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, into a family of music lovers, and she started performing with her father’s performance group when she was just five years old. Over the course of her life, she has learned to play many instruments.
She eventually became comfortable with playing the trumpet and embarked on a tour of Europe during the 1930s, which contributed to the genre’s exposure to an audience in other parts of the world.
Because of the similarities between her performance style and that of Louis Armstrong, many people referred to her as “Little Louis,” and W. C. Handy, the father of blues music, referred to her as the “Queen of the Trumpet.”
8. Melissa Venema
Melissa Venema, a Dutch trumpeter, is yet another outstanding female trumpet player that has been added to our list of prominent female trumpet players.
She received her basic education in music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, which she was able to enter after passing the admission exam at the age of 11. Venema gave performances in some foreign places over the course of her career.
Nevertheless, she appeared as a soloist six times with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in 2012, making it one of the most memorable performances of her career.
9. Barbara Butler
Barbara Butler is another well-known female trumpet player from the United States. She has performed with a number of professional orchestras, such as Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Eastman Brass, among others.
At the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, she is now serving as both the Director of the Artist Diploma Program and as a Professor of Trumpet. She held the role of the co-principal trumpet with her husband, the renowned trumpet musician Charles Geyer.
Since 1980, Butler has also worked as an educator, and she takes great delight in the fact that many of her pupils have gone on to become notable musicians in orchestras and other settings. Indeed, she’s the perfect role model for young female trumpet players.
10. Edna White
Edna White was born in the year 1892 in the city of Stamford in the state of Connecticut. Her participation in a performance at Carnegie Hall in 1901 with an ensemble led by her father is considered one of her earliest achievements.
She received her diploma from the Institute of Musical Art in New York City, which became known as Julliard in later years. She went on to found and lead several all-female bands, such as the Aida Quartet and the Edna White Trumpeters.
Her recital in Carnegie Hall in 1949 was the first performance ever given there by a trumpeter at the prestigious venue. Despite the fact that she stopped performing professionally in the late 1950s, she continued to compose many pieces for the trumpet orchestra, as well as write a memoir and several poems, until the time of her dying in 1992, which was just a few months before she would have turned 100.
11. Clora Bryant
The 1940s marked the beginning of Clora Bryant’s career as a jazz trumpet player and singer in the United States of America. In 1946, after Bryant had become a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, he began performing with Dizzy Gillespie.
She also collaborated with other notable talents such as Charlie Parker, Harry James, and Louis Armstrong during her career. She began her career in music while she was still enrolled at UCLA, but she returned to finish her degree at a later time, after a number of years had passed.
After having heart surgery in 1996, she decided to retire from playing the trumpet, but she continued singing and instructing music history. After another six years, she was honoured with the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award bestowed by the Kennedy Center.
Final Thoughts On The Best Female Trumpet Players
Although this list is not exhaustive, it provides a snapshot of some of the greatest female trumpet players who are making their mark in the music industry. These talented women have worked hard to achieve success and we can be sure that they will continue to inspire other aspiring musicians. Who is your favorite female trumpet player?