Kirk Garrison


A veteran of the Chicago jazz scene, Kirk Garrison attended Mankato State University in his home state of Minnesota before honing his skills in the United States Air Force Band. One of the peaks of his military career was an assignment as musical director for a select band deployed to the Middle East during operation Desert Storm. After leaving the Air Force in 1992, he completed his masters degree in Jazz Studies at DePaul University where he is now a member of the jazz faculty. Garrison's recent performance credits include engagements at the Chicago Jazz Festival and Chicago Blues Festival as well as appearances with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra Brass the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and is a member of the Lt. Dan Band featuring actor Gary Sinise. He has also appeared with such jazz stalwarts as Louie Bellson, Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Kurt Elling, and Herbie Hancock. In addition, Kirk Garrison is in high demand as a writer and arranger. In this capacity, he has received commissions from DePaul University, Rob Parton's Jazz Tech Big Band, the Chicago String Ensemble, and the Millar Brass Ensemble at Northwestern University. Howard Reich, jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The spectacular trumpet solo that Kirk Garrison offered... reminded listeners why the Jazz Members Big Band stands among the best repertory units in the country." Cadence Magazine's jazz critic Jack Bowers wrote "Kirk Garrison's marvelous trumpet work ... so moving it brought tears to my eyes." His trumpet artistry was described as "cool work" by John Von Rhein, music critic of the Chicago Tribune. John Killoch of Mainly Big Bands (UK) wrote in a review, "This guy nails the section with a big, accurate lead sound and when he flexes his chops ... the sound is again right down the middle, in tune, big and so high. Musical is a good way to put it. An object lesson to anyone who aspires to be a top lead trumpeter." Kirk Garrison uses Denis Wick precision mutes and mouthpieces and is a Denis Wick performing artist Products and sponsorship provided by DANSR, Inc. the North American importer for Denis Wick.