Home » Jazz Musicians » Thomas Heflin

Thomas Heflin

Tennessee-born jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin has been hailed as "a fluent trumpeter with a bright tone and a forward-looking style" by jazz writer Scott Yanow. In 2005, he placed second in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle, WA and has since been featured or mentioned in Italy's Jazz Magazine, The Pittsburgh Tribune Review and The International Trumpet Guild Journal among others.

A recording artist for Blue Canoe Records, Heflin has released three albums on the label. His 2007 debut album "Symmetry" was dedicated to the memory of pianist James Williams, who is featured on half of the recording. In 2009, Heflin produced and performed on "Introducing the New 5" by the cooperative group, The New 5 and In 2011, he released his third album, a collaborative CD with Ron Westray, former lead trombonist with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The album also featured drummer Adonis Rose and bassists Eric Revis and Neal Caine.

As a former member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Heflin has performed with the likes of Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Mulgrew Miller, James Moody, and Monty Alexander; recorded with Stefon Harris, Donald Brown, Gregory Tardy and John Clayton; and performed in festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Ezcaray Jazz Festival, and Jazz a Vienne. Outside of the KJO, Heflin has performed in a professional capacity with the likes of James Williams, Vincent Herring, Donald Brown, andLou Rawls.

Heflin is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he studied with jazz education pioneer, Jerry Coker. He received his masters degree from William Paterson University and his doctorate in Music Performance (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Texas, Austin. In addition to serving as brass instructor at Roane State Community College, he has served as an instructor for the University of Texas Jazz Department, the University Outreach and Continuing Education Program at the University of Tennessee, and the The Jefferson Center Jazz Institute. Heflin also served as the Central Greenough Artist-in-Residence in Western Australia as well as the Always on Stage festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

From 2009 to 2014, Heflin worked full-time as Program Manager at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, where he was also on the jazz faculty. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA.


2nd Place Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition Seattle, WA 2005


Vincent Bach Stradivarius 37 ML GR 66VC Mouthpiece Couesnon Flugel (70's vintage)


"Heflin plays with a very fluid approach generating lines in a seamless, highly polished manner that is really a joy to experience." -Gary Mortenson International Trumpet Guild

"His original compositions both reflect his classic influences while demonstrating he clearly has his own voice." -Daisy Riprock Austin Daze

"Hefllin's playing is as strong as his conception of music." -Bob Karlovits Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"A fluent trumpeter with a bright tone and a forward-looking style..." -Scott Yanow All Music Guide

"Heflin shows maturity beyond his years." -Glenn Astarita jazzreview.com

Read more

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Morning Star

Blue Canoe Records



Blue Canoe Records



From: Morning Star
By Thomas Heflin



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.