Oberlin

Michael Phillip Mossman '81, trumpet, composer


Trumpeter, arranger, and composer Michael Philip Mossman has had a varied and extensive music career and has been part of the international scene since the age of 17. Mossman has performed and recorded with his own groups and with some of the top contemporary jazz bands and orchestras in the world. He is currently lead trumpeter with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Mossman graduated cum laude from Oberlin college and conservatory with degrees in sociology and anthropology, as well as orchestral trumpet and jazz composition. He studied with Vincent Cichowicz of the Chicago Symphony before moving to New York. He completed his master's degree at Rutgers University and studied film scoring with Don Sebesky. He also is a graduate of Anthony Robbin's Mastery University.

Following stints as lead trumpet with the Machito Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, he became the musical director of Blue Note Record's “young lion” group, Out of the Blue. He recorded four albums for Blue Note with this group before disbanding to join the Horace Silver Quintet. In addition to the Horace group, Mossman has toured, collaborated, and recorded with a host of jazz greats—Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, McKoy Tyner, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Zawinul, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, the Charles Mingus Orchestra, Benny Carter, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, among others.

Mossman recently composed and arranged music for Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba's new animated film, Chico y Rita, in collaboration with Cuban legend Bebo Valdez. In February 2009, he recorded his second album Mambo Nights with the WDR Radio Big Band of Cologne, Germany, with Arturo Sandoval as guest artist. His most recent solo album is called Soul con Timba Live at Bohemian Caverns. His CD, the Orisha Suite on Pimienta (2003), was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

A longtime music educator, Mossman has held faculty positions at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Rutgers University, the New School for Social Research, Bloomfield College, and other institutions. He is a professor and director of jazz studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City.

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