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Ken Mullin

About Ken Mullin

Ken Mullin started his professional career at the age of 16, auditioning and performing for the 2nd trumpet position in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra had a solid wind section at this time, supported by federal programs. He was tutored by Philip Christner and was awarded the Otto Z. Fox Memorial Award.

After graduating high school, he heard the One O'clock Lab Band perform at Spoleto Festival. He relocated to North Texas State in order to acquire skills from the jazz program there. Already a recipient of the Carolina Defabritus Scholarship at College of Charleston, he auditioned for scholarships from North Texas and received the Herbert Clarke Trumpet Scholarship, Bill Collins Trumpet Scholarship and later the Mike Williams Trumpet Scholarship. During his stay at North Texas, He auditioned for and won a spot in Disneyland's All-American College Band 1984, and Opryland 1985. His study at North Texas was capped with the 2nd (split-lead) trumpet spot with the One O'clock Lab Band. In 1991, Neil Slater's "Values" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Category of Best Instrumental Jazz Composition. Ken performed the Piccolo Trumpet Solo at the climax of the Fugue.

Ken split lead duties with Al Hoel on the SS. Norway. There he played lead trumpet for Ben Vereen, Erskine Hawkins, and Phyllis George. He played split-lead backing Joe Williams, Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra Jr. with Buddy Childers, Clark Terry, and Louis Bellson, to name a few. Ken was featured soloist at Piccolo Spoleto in 1984 as well as 1991, accompanied by Doug Ludlum and later, Greg Jones. Ken has composed numerous brass quintet and brass septet arrangements, as can be heard on Brassfire recordings. In order to finance his graduate study at North Texas, Ken took position of musical director on four separate contracts with Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun and Princess Cruiselines. His composition skills were useful there, and he wrote frequently for septet and sextet showband format. He played split-lead trumpet with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd under Frank Tiberiin in 1993. During this period, Ken played Trumpet for in the Moody Blues World Orchestra, and played lead trumpet for Bobby Caldwell's Condition Blue Tour. Ken performed as principal trumpet in the Waco Symphony Orchestra for their Burt Bacharach Concert, as well as during the 1998-1999 Season.


You can hear Ken on occasion performing classically in local churches, and with bands such as Pete Petersen Jazz Collection, Forte Jazz Lounge- Joe Clarke Big Band, and PGA Tournament Band- Duck Soup,  The Mike Drake Band, The Raybands, and Emerald Empire Band. Most Recently, Ken has spent a decade [2004-2014] travelling with Broadway on Tour musicals playing lead trumpet with the first National Tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Happy Days, a new musical with  original music composed by Paul Williams and Book by Garry Marshall, and The 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miserables. Currently, Ken performs in the Southeast as lead trumpet with Joe Clarke Big Band at Forte Jazz Lounge, and is happy to be back home in Charleston, SC.

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