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Keith T Karns

Keith Karns is a trumpet player, composer, and bandleader based in Dallas Texas. Keith’s credits include collaborations with jazz artists such as Stefon Harris, Rich Perry, Greta Matassa, Lauren Sevian and the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band. Keith has been the recipient of awards from ASCAP, Downbeat Magazine, and the Jazz Education Network.

Keith writes for his own group, the Keith Karns Big Band. Keith’s band has toured nationally, and released two records. The most recent recording is a collaboration with Rich Perry and was released earlier this year on Summit Records.

Keith currently teaches trumpet and jazz at North Central Texas College. He is also the Artistic Coordinator for the jazz program at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

Keith is a Torpedo Bags performing artist and uses Torpedo Bags to transport and protect all of his trumpets.


2015 JEN Young Composer's Showcase Winner: "The House at the End of High Street" 2015 Downbeat SMA Outstanding Arrangement: "Up on the Roof" 2014 Downbeat SMA Best Original Composition for Large Ensemble: "The Square" 2014 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Composer's Award Best Original Composition "The Square" 2007 National Trumpet Competition Jazz Finalist


"...an outstanding trumpeter...it's his composing and arranging that sets him apart..." -Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

An Eye on the Future

Summit Records


Lab 2014

University of North Texas


Lab 2013

University of North Texas


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