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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee

Music Adjunct Faculty

Music and Performing Arts Professions

Bach Artist, Brandon Lee is a New York City-based jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger, and educator (b. 1983, Houston, TX). Growing up in a musical family, Lee started formally playing piano at age 5 and then switched to trumpet at age 9. By age 11, Lee was introduced to jazz music, and this became his major musical focus ever since. At 16, Lee met and impressed his biggest influence, Wynton Marsalis, while performing at the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City (1999). While there, Lee won an award for “Best Soloist” for the entire competition. A year later, Lee guest-performed on a Live PBS Special with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, celebrating Louis Armstrong’s Centennial.

In 2001, Lee moved to New York City to further pursue his jazz studies at The Juilliard School where he received a BMus (2005), MMus (2007), and an A.D. (2008). After graduating, Lee became one of the youngest faculty members to ever teach at Juilliard (2008-2012). In 2013 Lee moved to North Carolina to teach at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). Lee taught as the Jazz Brass Professor at UNCG from 2013-2018.

Lee has written dozens of original compositions and arrangements, which span from quartets to large ensembles. Lee has recorded three albums as a band leader: From Within, Absolute-Lee, and his latest, Common Thread.  As a co-leader of Uptown Jazz Tentet, Lee has recorded 2 albums: There It Is and What’s Next. 

In addition to being a band leader, Lee has focused much of his career on being a sideman in the most prestigious bands in the world. Most notably, Lee is a member of the Count Basie Orchestra and Christian McBride Big Band. Lee has received two Grammys for playing on Christian McBride’s big band albums, Bringin’ It and For Jimmy, Wes, and Oliver. 

Lee has worked with a plethora of artists and bands in the NYC area, including, the Kenny Barron Quintet, Kurt Elling, Aaron Diehl, Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Ron Carter Big Band, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Danny Jonokuchi Big Band, Darcy James Argue and many more. He is also part of a series of tours with a lindy hop show, Swing Out, featuring the Eyal Vilner Big Band.

Currently, Lee is an orchestra member in the brand new, 4-time Tony award-winning musical, Some Like It Hot. 

In the fall of 2023, Lee will start his first-year teaching as jazz trumpet faculty at NYU.


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