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A Man and His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story

In a city full of brilliant musicians, Leroy Jones, trumpet virtuoso and consummate New Orleanian, is a musician’s musician. A MAN AND HIS TRUMPET: The Leroy Jones Story follows Jones's life journey as he came up playing on the streets of the Saint Bernard Projects, quickly establishing himself as one of NOLA’s most sought after trumpeters, founding the legendary Fairview Baptist Brass Band and Hurricane Brass Band, which lead to the revival of the brass band scene in New Orleans. Leroy Jones eventually catches the ear of Harry Connick Jr. and ends up becoming Connick’s solo trumpeter, touring and recording with the Harry Connick Big Band for over 20 years. A decade after the storm that nearly destroyed his beloved city, Jones is navigating life as both a world-renowned musician and a citizen amidst a rapidly changing New Orleans.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Bryan J. Sajecki, University at Buffalo
"A Man and His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story dives into one of the most influential jazz trumpeters in the United States not named Louis Armstrong. Directed by jack-of-all trades Cameron Washington, this documentary is more than just a biography. It is a story of the identity of a music genre, a man, and the culture of New Orleans."

"A Man and His Trumpet is more than just a feel-good story for the viewer. It is a snapshot of how 'a rare combination of a great guy and a great talent' unknowingly trailblazed a music genre in a time where it could all be forgotten. With the gentrification of New Orleans, Jones and company seek to keep playing their hearts out until they can no longer buzz through a mouthpiece, use their fingers, or throw their voice. This film would be a strong addition to any library, as the film touches on African American history and the evolution of jazz in the United States."

University of Miami | Professor Andrew Dykstra
"A Man and His Trumpet tells Jones’ story in a highly engaging fashion, incorporating plenty of music along with intimate commentary from Jones and his contemporaries. The film accomplishes three things. First, it showcases Jones and the reverence his fellow New Orleans musicians have for him (i.e., it gives Jones his props). Second, it documents the history of New Orleans brass band music, both introducing it to new audiences and filling in rich details for connoisseurs. What is most impressive, however, is how deft and cohesive the story stays even whilst covering diverse and sometimes difficult subject matter. Even the coverage of the Katrina levee failure, which can’t be ignored but has the potential to seriously drag down an otherwise uplifting and often humorous film, is somehow natural. All the more impressive considering this is Washington’s first full-length documentary. The Leroy Jones documentary should be in the film archives of every major university."

Tulane University | Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Curator Emeritus, Hogan Jazz Archive
“A film on Leroy Jones has got to be good because he’s one of the best jazz trumpet players on the planet.”


Main credits

Jones, Leroy (on-screen participant)
Connick, Harry (on-screen participant)
Toivola, Katja (on-screen participant)
Washington, Cameron (film director)
Washington, Cameron (director of photography)
Washington, Cameron (editor of moving image work)
Ferrone, Joe (film producer)
Myrthil, Ramthis (film producer)

Other credits

Director, cinematographer, editor: Cameron Washington.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Jazz Studies
African American Studies
U.S. History
Urban Studies
American Studies
African-American Studies
American Studies
Documentary Films


Jazz Studies, Ethnomusicology, African American Studies, U.S. History, Urban Studies, American Studies, Leroy Jones, Trumpet; "A Man and His Trumpet: the Leroy Jones Story"; GOOD DOCS