At 9 years old James Suggs made two casual choices which dictated the rest of his life; he chose band over chorus, and the trumpet because his friend played the trumpet. At 10 he was ushered backstage to meet Wynton Marsalis who gave the 10 year old trumpet player a 20 minute lesson and that sealed the deal. Before settling in St Pete he had a very long and prestigious trail of credits including touring and recording with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and later performing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
He spent 8 years playing and touring in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has shared the stage with such artists as Kenny Burrell, Robin Eubanks, Dick Hyman, Sean Jones, Chuck Mangione, Maria Schneider, and Frankie Avalon to name a few. In 2015, James was awarded the Best of the Bay’s Critic’s choice for “Best Jazz Transplant”.
In May of 2018, James received a Masters Degree in music- jazz performance from the University of South Florida. There, he studied trumpet with Dr. Jay Coble and jazz improvisation with Jack Wilkins and performed in the top big band and jazz combo.
One of the finest trumpet players in the Bay area, Suggs will hold a CD Release party for his latest release at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Friday, May 31stat 8pm. Tickets are $18 in advance and $23 on the day of the show. Advance tickets are available at wslr.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Backing Suggs up will be Alejandro Arenas on bass, John O’Leary on piano, and Mark Feinman on drums. Performing as La Lucha, these three musicians were awarded Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay Jazz Ensemble” in 2013, 2014 & 2015.
For information: David Beaton, WSLR+Fogartyville Program Director, 941-587-6588
photo courtesy of Fogartyville