Tim Hagans

Tim Hagans

Musicians | Instrument: Trumpet | Location: New York City

Hagans has proven to be a master compositional architect in more formal settings, but his ability to let loose with this small group is the key to its success. The Moon is Waiting is a marvel of elastic expressions from one of the most shrewd and intelligent minds in jazz today.

—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

Updated: January 15, 2024

Born: August 19, 1954

Three time Grammy nominated composer and trumpeter Tim Hagans performs and records with the Tim Hagans Quartet and as a guest composer, conductor and soloist with the NDR Bigband and other large ensembles.

His most recent CD, A Conversation (Waiting Moon Records 2021), an all-new, original multi-movement concerto performed by Hagans and the NDR Bigband was the June 2021 Editor's Pick in Downbeat Magazine. This collaboration was the subject of a feature documentary: “A Week In Hamburg: Rehearsing & Performing Tim Hagans’ A Conversation.”

His CD FACES UNDER THE INFLUENCE, A Jazz Tribute to John Cassavetes (2017 Waiting Moon Records) is a suite of 7 musical portraits inspired by characters from the films of John Cassavetes. The recording features the NDR Bigband in Hamburg with Mr. Hagans as guest composer, conductor and trumpet soloist. Downbeat writes: “Hagans himself shines as the braying Richard Forst in Faces. Hagans suite underscores the sadness and confusion, empathy and hope in Cassavetes’ gritty works with accuracy and honesty.”

Tim Hagans was nominated for Grammy awards for Best Instrumental Composition for “Box of Cannoli” from THE AVATAR SESSIONS (2010 Fuzzy Music); Best Contemporary Jazz CD for RE*ANIMATION (2000 Blue Note) and ANIMATION IMAGINATION (1999 Blue Note). Tim Hagans is the featured soloist on the soundtrack by Howard Shore for the movie The Score, starring Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando. In June 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Tim Hagans has performed and recorded with Thad Jones, Ernie Wilkins, Gary Peacock, Joe Lovano, Bob Belden and Dexter Gordon. It was Thad Jones who encouraged Tim to write music, and Hagans' first composition appeared on a Thad Jones Eclipse LP.

For three years he was a member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. For fifteen years he was artistic director and composer-in-residence for the Norrbotten Big Band, traveling to Sweden to perform, conduct and arrange projects with guests including Rufus Reid, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, and Dave Liebman. THE AVATAR SESSIONS CD features music he created during that tenure, performed by Tim Hagans, the Norrbotten Big Band, and the above mentioned guest artists.

Tim Hagans was the recipient of the 2008 IAJE/ASCAP Established Composer commission and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grant. Other notable commissions include the Barent’s Composers Orchestra in 2009; NDR Bigband in 2001, 2004, 2013, 2016 & 2017; Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra in 2003, 2007 and 2014.

In 2007 he began performing and composing for the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble, a contemporary dance company dedicated to the use of live original music in performance and the integration of musicians into the stage imagery.

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All About Jazz Articles


A Conversation with Tim Hagans

Read "A Conversation with Tim Hagans" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This interview was first published at All About Jazz on December 1998. We spoke with Tim Hagans at Los Angeles's Jazz Bakery in January of this year for his last Blue Note release, a tribute to Freddie Hubbard entitled Hubsongs with fellow trumpeter Marcus Printup. He informed me that he was planning on releasing a drum and bass album. I was fascinated by his vision and his candor, since in today's current jazz climate, it could have brought ...

Liner Notes

Conrad Herwig: Land of Shadow

Read "Conrad Herwig: Land of Shadow" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

In the spirit of Miles Davis and a select number of his followers, Conrad Herwig in the course of his musical endeavors spanning some 20 years has strived to keep the music inching forward to new and previously undiscovered vistas. His versatility as demonstrated by an ability to transcend genres, be it Eddie Palmieri's Afro-Cuban muse or the repertory bent of the Mingus Big Band, also raises its head in his outstanding series of Criss Cross recordings that began with ...

Radio & Podcasts

Steve Smith-George Brooks-Prasanna, Tim Hagans, Miles Davis, Return to Forever and Lenny White

Read "Steve Smith-George Brooks-Prasanna, Tim Hagans, Miles Davis, Return to Forever and Lenny White" reviewed by Len Davis

Chris Potter, Steve Smith and George Brooks with Prasanna. Tim Hagans, Miles Davis and more '70s classics to finish. Playlist Chris Potter Underground"Rumples" from Ultrahang (ArtistShare) 00:00 Steve Smith-George Brooks-Prasanna “Dubai Dance" from Raga Bop Trio (Abstract Logix) 0:07:38 Tim Hagans-Bob Belden “are you threatening me?" from Re-Animation (Blue Note) 15:17 Miles Davis “Big Time" from Amandla (Warner) 22:52 Al Di Meola “Short Tales of the Blackforest" from Land of the Midnight Sun (Columbia) 30:22 Return To Forever ...

Radio & Podcasts

Tim Hagans: A Conversation

Read "Tim Hagans: A Conversation" reviewed by David Bixler

The pandemic has given trumpet player and composer Tim Hagans a chance to step away from the physicality of the trumpet and focus on seeking new paths for his music. In this episode of LINER NOTES Tim speaks about preparing for an upcoming gig in Europe after not playing with other musicians for nearly two years, as well as his stunning new recording, A Conversation, featuring Germany's NDR Big Band. This episode features music from Tim Hagan's A Conversation (Waiting Moon ...

Album Review

Mark Masters: Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster

Read "Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It is an absolute pleasure to hear several of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn's classic charts for Ellington's celebrated 1940-42 Blanton-Webster orchestra (named for a pair of its stars, bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster) adeptly rescored for a twenty-first century ensemble by the superlative arranger Mark Masters. And to ice the cake, the Masters ensemble welcomes to its ranks Art Baron, the last trombonist hired by Ellington, who anchored the plunger chair from 1973 until Ellington's death ...

Album Review

Tim Hagans-NDR Big Band: A Conversation

Read "A Conversation" reviewed by Jack Bowers

A Conversation, by trumpeter Tim Hagans and Germany's superlative NDR Big Band, is really five conversations- -that is, a five-movement concerto composed, arranged and conducted by Hagans who also solos on Movements III, IV and V. Hagans and the band are more than strangers in the night--he has collaborated with NDR for two decades as guest composer, conductor, arranger and soloist. To underscore his purpose, Hagans has grouped the band members not in sections, as is usually done, but in ...

Album Review

Tim Hagans - NDR Big Band: A Conversation

Read "A Conversation" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il trombettista Tim Hagans collabora da un ventennio con la NDR Big Band, distinguendosi non solo in veste di solista ma anche come compositore, orchestratore e direttore d'orchestra. In questo quarto album con l'ensemble di Amburgo presenta il suo lavoro più ambizioso, sperimentando nuove strutture orchestrali in perfetto equilibrio tra modelli tradizionali e libere esplorazioni della forma. L'aspetto più innovativo consiste nella scelta di alterare la classica configurazione della big band in sezioni strumentali a favore di ...

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(Waiting Moon Records 2021)

June 2021 Editor's Pick in Downbeat Magazine.


(Waiting Moon Records 2017)
Hagans’ suite underscores the sadness and confusion, empathy and hope in

Cassavetes’ gritty works with accuracy and honesty.
- Fred Boucahrd, Downbeat

“Lelia” the grand opening number, captures the proto-hipster, post-noir vibe of Shadows...”Harry, Archie & Gus,” the main men of Husbands (the director himself among them), are given to an alternatively swinging and swaggering theme, and the man of the hour, in the finale, is defined by moments of sheer chaos and unsullied delicacy, a fitting tribute indeed.

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Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Advanced only


Private lessons in improvistaion and composition via skype: $175 for 1 and 1/2 hours. $125 for an hour. First lesson needs to be 1 1/2 hours and subsquent lessons can be either 1 1/2 hours or a hour.



Lydia Liebman Promotions


  Fri, Apr 19
Paris, France
Tim Hagans Quartet
Fri, Apr 19. 9:30 pm


Two Islands III

From: Atwood Suites
By Tim Hagans

Tuesday Overture

From: At This Time
By Tim Hagans