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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.
Born and raised in Butte,Montana, Jim attended North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), 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 groups, one acoustic and one electric, as well as the collective known as One For All, which features a front line of Eric Alexander and Steve Davis. Jim has also been a member of the Lou Donaldson Quintet and the Joe Chambers Sextet.
Jim's extensive recording experience most recently includes the release of his first date as a leader for the Posi-Tone Label,titled Four Of A Kind, following two successful previous releases on the Sharp Nine label as well as six CD's on the Criss Cross Jazz label. Having appeared on over 50 CD's as a sideman, 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.
Clearly,(Rotondi) emerges as one of the best of the post-Hubbard generation- Chris Hovan, allaboutjazz.com
(His) solos are a near-perfect amalgam of power, finesse and logic. - David A. Orthmann,
If I had to pick one trumpeter to watch over the next decade, it would be Jim Rotondi.- Don Berryman, www.jazzpolice.com, May,2005
Rotondi has the passion and focus to find a place for the music in the
new millennium.-The New Yorker, Jan. 2003
There isn't a better trumpet player in New York City than Jim Rotondi, for whom the word versatile is inadequate. - Bob Belden
Jim currently lives and works in the New York City area, where he maintains a vigorous performing, recording, composing and teaching schedule.He has given clinics at Emory University in Atlanta ,the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camp and served on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop in Palo Alto, California, as well as being an affiliate faculty member at the State University of New York in Purchase. Jim is a Selmer artist/clinician.