About Bruce Adams - British Jazz Trumpet Player


Bruce's interest in jazz started as a seven year old in Glasgow when he heard a record of Django Reindhart.  So impressed was Bruce, that he wanted to be able to play like Django. Fortunately his father Bob (himself a professional guitarist) spotted the obvious flaw in this plan. Bruce was a terrible guitarist, so he bought him a trumpet instead. So the world was saved from yet another guy who thought he could play guitar but couldn't. It's a pity his father hadn't been more ambitious. He should have been the Charles Bronson to bad Guitarists and wiped them all out.


Bruce was eleven when he started on trumpet, and did his first gig after five months. Within another few months, he was gigging regularly around Glasgow. When he was fourteen, as a prodigy of Nat Gonella's, he won on Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks. The following year he went on the road doing a double act with his father Bob - Expo '67 in Montreal was followed by a C.S.E. tour for the troops in Aden with Tony Hancock. Over the next few years further C.S.E. shows were followed by trips to New York on the QE2 and cruising with P&O. Sadly the Act finished in 1973 with Bob's premature death.


Bruce settled back in Glasgow and got involved in the local jazz scene, forming a quintet with Scottish alto saxophonist Bill Fanning, and going on to form an eighteen piece big band with Bill. Bruce eventually started playing with the George McGowan Big Band with whom he won Best Trumpet and Outstanding Musician in the 1982 Holsten Jazz Journal Big Band Competition. Followed two years later by the best soloist prize in the BBC Big Band Competition.


Bruce’s regular appearances at the Edinburgh and Glasgow jazz festivals enabled him to share the stage with people like Dick Hyman, Bob Wilbur, Benny Carter, Buddy Tate, Al Cohn, Al Grey, Ray Bryant, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson, Danny Moss, Jack Parnell, Roy Williams, Bill Allred, George Chisholm, Dave McKenna and Jake Hanna. Other festivals include Sacramento, Cork, Breda, Eindhoven, Brecon, Swanage, Decatur, Berne, Licata, Silda, British Columbia, Birmingham, Olymp Jazz Festival Stuttgart, Chateauneuf de Faou and Hanover.

Bruce is a frequent guest soloist on the European jazz scene, playing regularly in Paris, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Sicily. Often with Belgian pianist and saxophonist, Pascal Michaux. Other top European players Bruce has played with include George Arvanitas, Phillipe Duchemin, Charly Antolini, Pete York, Charly Hollering, Thilo Wagner and Lindy Huppertsberg.


In 1990, Bruce released his first solo Album, "One Foot In The Gutter", followed shortly afterwards by "Sidesteppin" with saxophonist Alan Barnes. The next quintet album was "Let's Face The Music”, followed by another quartet Album "Good Bait", recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. Also in the record portfolio is a duo album recorded with pianist Brian Dee, entitled "All the way". The current quintet album" Spontaneous Combustion" is the latest contribution from the quintet. Bruce’s latest quartet album “As Sure As You’re Born” was recorded in France with guitarist Tony Marshall, legendary bassist Spike Heatley and drummer Malcolm Mortimore, and is currently available on Mainstem records.


Bruce also features on Alan Barnes Octet Albums - "The Sherlock Holmes Suite", "The Marbella Suite", " Songs for Unsung Heroes", "The Seven ages of Jazz" and "Harlem Air Shaft" and Alan’s latest Johnny Hodges project, (yet to be named or released) with Ken Peplowski.


Bruce's big band career includes Drinking with the “ Scottish Radio Orchestra”, “The Tommy Sampson Big Band”,” The Kenny Baker Dozen”, The” BBC Big Band”, ”Echoes of Ellington”, The” Don Lusher Big Band” and one of the last concerts of the” Ted Heath Band” under the direction of Don Lusher.

Bruce has also featured as guest soloist with the “BBC Big Band”, The “Fat Chops Big Band” and “MYJO”


Often a regular nominee in the British Jazz Awards, Bruce won the Top Trumpet prize in 2000, 2006 and 2008 and placed in the top 5 again in 2010.


Bruce also works as a clinician and educator, and is an endorsee of Vincent Bach Trumpets and Flugelhorns.