Greg Duncan is an emerging artist and freelance jazz trumpet player based in Chicago, Illinois. His ensemble plays contemporary straight-ahead jazz that grooves with a mixture of blues, swing, and even flamenco. He has toured all over the world with various groups and performed at top jazz clubs in both Chicago and Europe.
Duncan came to Chicago in 2003 by way of Washington State and Texas. He graduated from the well-respected University of North Texas in 2001 and started working as a professional musician full-time. In 2002 he toured the United States and Japan with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and was a featured soloist in addition to composing and arranging for the band. His writing appeared on the Washington State University Big Band CD in 2003 and he also was invited to conduct an original composition that same year at the Southwest Regional College Music Society Conference. In 2006 and 2009, Duncan traveled and performed in Spain, where he picked up some flamenco sounds and incorporated them into his group. His debut recording with his quintet came in 2007 (“Unveiled”) and it was released by the prestigious OA2 record label. The recording received extensive radio play and earned these good remarks by jazz critics:
“Over the course of seventy-plus minutes, this disc grooves, swings, bops and just plain rocks out…Duncan’s writing is so hip…” Paul Abella (Chicago Jazz Magazine)
“Backed by a crew of solid young talent, Greg Duncan has unveiled a new force in jazz.” Jim Shulstad (Jazz Review.com)
“Duncan’s playing most often reminds of early– to mid-period Miles, certainly in sound if not always in terms of phrases.” Grego Applegate Edwards (Cadence Magazine)
In 2012, Duncan won a grant from the Illinois Arts Council to record a Flamenco Jazz album with his Latin Ensemble. “Chicago, Barcelona Connections” (New Origins Records) became a hit on the radio waves throughout the country and the World. Critics gave very positive reviews:
“…THE MUSIC IS UNINHIBITED, UNPRETENTIOUS, NATURALLY FLOWING, AND FULL OF INCISIVE IMPROVISATIONS.” SCOTT ALBIN (JAZZ TIMES)
“DUNCAN’S TONE, PHRASING, AND ARTICULATED INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCES ARE SECOND TO NONE.” BRENT BLACK (CRITICAL JAZZ BLOG)
Later that year, Duncan won the SedaJazz composition contest in Valencia, Spain. His composition “Viento” earned top latin jazz composition out of 30 submissions from Spain and various other countries. His Latin Ensemble has performed at the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival and also at Chicago’s famous Old Town School of Folk Music in addition to the top Chicago jazz clubs.
As a freelance trumpet player, Duncan has performed with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Roger Ingram, Billy Harper, Jorge Rossy, Richie Cole, and many others. He has also studied with several prominent jazz trumpet players such as John Swana, Joe Magnarelli, and Al Hood. Duncan currently plays and teaches in Chicago and performs often in Spain. He is currently blending jazz, blues, swing and flamenco to form a unique approach to contemporary jazz.