Art Farmer Day

August 21, 1928 – October 4, 1999

Blue Monk

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Trumpeter and flugelhorn player Art Farmer was born on August 21, 1928 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Art is the identical twin brother of jazz bassist Addison Farmer.

Finding the musical education in segregated public schools of the day useless, he taught himself to read music and moved to Los Angeles along with his twin brother bassist Addison Farmer in 1945.

In California the brothers attended the music-oriented Jefferson High School and had an opportunity to meet other developing musicians like Sonny Criss, Ed Thigpen, and Big Jay McNeely.

Art left school for a short lived tour with a band led by Johnny Otis and went on to make his first recorded appearance in L.A. during the Summer of 1948 under the leadership of Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson.

One of the most sought-after trumpeters of the 1950s, Art signed to Prestige and played with Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Charles Mingus, and others.

Joining the “Lionel Hampton Orchestra” in 1952 he toured Europe and relocated to New York the following year where he built a reputation as a premier trumpeter of bebop.

In 1959 Art Farmer formed his “Jazztet” with tenor saxophonist Benny Golson.

Continuing to tour Europe frequently he moved there in 1968 ultimately settling in Vienna but would return to New York to perform beginning in the early 1990s.

Art Farmer is featured performing with his quartet utilizing the “flumpet”, a custom instrument crossed between a trumpet and flugelhorn.

“Blue Monk,” composed by Thelonious Monk, has become one of the melodies most associated with the piano great.


Art Farmer, flumpet
Fred Hersh, piano
Dennis Irwin, bass
Billy Hart, drums


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