Pugh is a distinguished trombonist, composer, and educator. The
inspiring virtuosity and wonderful versatility he has demonstrated
during the course of his career has caused Jim to be often honored
as the "musician's musician". Whether he is performing
as a concerto soloist in a symphonic setting, recording and touring
with legendary artists in the fields of classical, jazz, & rock,
or bringing forth his own exciting new compositions that expand
the role of brass in contemporary music, his creativity knows no
studying piano at age five and trombone at age ten. After attending
Duquesne University and graduating from the Eastman School of
Music, Jim toured extensively with the Woody Herman Band and with
Chick Corea before deciding to settle down and make New York City
As a performer
and recording artist:
New York's top-call freelance trombonist for film scores, records,
and music for television and radio advertising: over the past
thirty-years he has lent his special talent to more than four
thousand recording sessions.
can be heard in collaboration with leading classical and popular
artists and orchestras such as Yo-Yo Ma, Steely Dan, Eos, Concordia,
St. Luke's Orchestra, André Previn, Paul Simon, Barbara
Streisand, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pink Floyd,
and Frank Sinatra.
Jim has been
called on to add his sound to feature film soundtracks including
A League of Their Own, When Harry Met Sally, and Meet Joe Black;
and on hit Broadway cast recordings City of Angels, Fosse and
In 2003 Jim
"re-premiered" the Nathaniel Shilkret: Trombone Concerto
to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson
and the New York Pops Orchestra. This mid-twentieth century masterpiece,
originally written for Tommy Dorsey, will be heard in its first
totally accurate recording, along with Jim's own Concerto for
Trombone and Orchestra, on his up-coming new CD.
Jim Pugh is
the only recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts &
Sciences Virtuoso Award for Tenor trombone, awarded after being
voted Tenor Trombone MVP by the New York recording community for
As a composer:
music and arrangements can be heard on National Public Radio,
in film scores, on "jingles", and on record. His composition,
Lunch with Schrödinger's Cat, received a Lincoln Center premier
in 1989 by Marin Alsop and the Concordia Chamber Orchestra. Jim
premiered his Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra in May 1992
with the Williamsport Symphony. It received its New York premier
in March 2000 with Joseph Alessi as soloist and Leonard Slatkin
conducting the New York Philharmonic. A founding member of the
Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble, several of Jim's compositions can
be heard on their recent CD entitled The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble
Plays The Music of James Pugh and Daniel Schnyder, available on
the Signum label.
As an educator:
Jim is currently
on faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In the past he has taught at SUNY-Purchase College, the University
of the Arts (Philadelphia) and at New York University. He appears
frequently at schools throughout the country as a guest artist/clinician.
Many of these clinics/concerts are made possible through the help
of the Edwards Instrument Co.
field of instrument development:
Jim has been
involved with the development of the Edwards small bore tenor
trombone and has worked closely with Dave Monette in the development
of the Monette TS11 and TS 6 small shank tenor trombone mouthpiece.
He endorses both of these products and plays Edwards trombones
and Monette mouthpieces exclusively.
Professor of Trombone
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.