Trumpeter Jim Rotondi began his musical studies at a very early age. His mother, a piano teacher, encouraged Jim to begin playing the piano at age eight. He took up the trumpet at age twelve.
In 1980 Jim graduated from Butte High School in Butte, Montana. He then attended North Texas State University, where he graduated with a degree in trumpet performance. While in Texas, Jim was awarded first place in the International Trumpet Guild's jazz trumpet competition for the year 1984. After college Jim began recording and touring internationally with the Ray Charles Orchestra. Immediately following this he commenced a six year tenure with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. During this time Jim also became a member of organist Charles Earland's quintet. He currently tours with his own group, as well as with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Grammy-winner Toshiko Akiyoshi and the collective known as One For All, which features a front line of Eric Alexander and Steve Davis.
Jim's extensive recording experience most recently includes the release of his fifth date as a leader, titled "Destination Up", for the Sharp Nine label following the successful release of four CDs on the Criss Cross Jazz label. He can also be heard on several of Charles Earland's Highnote Records releases, alongside saxophonist Eric Alexander, with whom Jim made his recording debut on Eric's Delmark release "Straight Up". Other recordings include saxophonist George Coleman's Octet, featuring Harold Mabern, as well as drummer Ray Appleton's Sextet, which features Slide Hampton, Charles McPherson, and John Hicks. Jim is also a member of the aforementioned One For All, whose Sharp Nine Records releases "Too Soon To Tell" and "Optimism" received critical acclaim from Cadence, JazzTimes, and The Detroit Free Press.
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