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Farnell Newton

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Biography

Farnell Newton, Composer/Trumpeter, was born on March 21, 1977, in Miami, Florida, where he was exposed to many forms of music, including jazz, salsa, funk, and hip-hop. Moving to Philadelphia in 1992, he attended the High School of Creative and Performing Arts (C.A.P.A.) and gained more exposure to and experience with the music he truly loves — jazz. While in Philadelphia, Farnell also learned a lot from his uncles, saxophonist/arranger Conny Murray, and Sunny Murray, “the father of avant-garde drumming.”

Re-locating to Denver in 1994, Farnell graduated from the Denver School of the Arts and then moved to Ohio to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At Oberlin, Farnell studied Music Performance with an emphasis in jazz with Wendell Logan and trumpeter Kenny Davis. Farnell Performed with many musicians, including Aretha Franklin, James Moody, Marvin Santiago, and Muhal Richard Abrams, during his time at Oberlin.

After graduating from Oberlin, Farnell moved to Portland, Oregon, where he has performed regularly with musicians such as Mel Brown, Thara Memory, Bobby Torres, Johnny Polanco, Ricardo Lemvo, and Darrell Grant, to name a few. In 2006, Farnell released his first album, ”Sense of Direction,” co-led by pianist Marcus Reynolds on Diatic Records. From 2007-2009, he served as Graduate Assistant of Music Performance at Portland State University (P.S.U.) under the direction of Charles Gray and Darrell Grant, and in 2009, he finished his Master’s Degree of Music in Jazz Studies and was hired at P.S.U. as Professor of Jazz Trumpet.

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