Memories of Art Farmer

To learn about someone who is a legend but no longer with us, you can read about the person or you can talk to someone who knew that person.

Here we welcome you to learn more about Art Farmer from his colleagues who worked with him and from jazz fans who heard and saw Art play – as they share their memories. There is a page for Art’s colleagues and another page for jazz fans who saw and heard him play.

We encourage you to share your memories of Art Farmer. If you are a musician, we would like to learn how he influenced you into becoming the musician you are today. If you are a jazz fan, please tell us, if possible, when and where you saw Art perform and any memories of the event.

Contact us using the form on the site menu.


Fritz Pauer

Art Farmer and Fritz Pauer photo by Dagmar Bartik

“I first heard Art Farmer play live at the Old Eden Saloon in Berlin in 1965. At that time, the band did not use any amplifiers and just relied on acoustic sound. Art broke into amazing musical slurs on his flugelhorn. His extensive repertoire included the best standards from Irving Berlin to Burt Bacharach. Later…


Dmitri Matheny

From 1988 to 1999 I was honored to study privately with the greatest flugelhornist in the world: Art Farmer. I met Art when my friend, bassist Peter Herbert, introduced us at the Village Vanguard in New York City. It’s truly a remarkable gift, to meet your hero, the world’s acknowledged master on your instrument, and…


Jimmy Owens

When I think of Art Farmer I remember the times I first heard him on record on trumpet, the sweet sound the very interesting melodies he created. Then I heard him on flugelhorn, and the sound was sweeter and the melodic lines were more interesting with more intervals and a more added space. Art lived…


Richie Vitale

When I first heard Art Farmer he sounded so melodic, fluid and magical it was startling. Art played the trumpet with a warm sound, full of ideas, motifs and twists to his playing. He didn’t play quotes (which I’m not against if someone of Sonny Rollins’ quality plays them) or play “lines”, but seemed, like Chet…


Rufus Reid

Art Farmer was not only an exquisite creative trumpet player, but his “sound” was lush and beautiful, as well.  Each and every year he would come to NY to perform and I was fortunate to be asked to play with him.  To play music with Art was very refreshing because he would bring new music…


Bill Crow

Excerpts from Bill Crow’s book “From Birdland to Broadway,” Oxford University Press: In July 1958 I got a call from Gerry Mulligan to rejoin his quartet. Joe Benjamin had replaced me when I left, and then Henry Grimes had replaced him. Now Henry was leaving to go with Sonny Rollins. Dave Bailey was still Gerry’s…