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.


Geoffrey Keezer

One night at Sweet Basil in the mid-1990’s (it was Art’s main jazz club of residence in NYC) we were playing a slow Mal Waldron ballad, “Soul Eyes” that Art played often. When it came time for Art to solo, he chose to play only ONE NOTE per measure (it was a 32-bar form), playing… Read more…


Mark Eisenman

I had a wonderful experience working with Art Farmer for a whole week. I had always admired his playing and it was an honor to accompany him. The story of that week will give the reader a great insight into not only what kind of a musician he was but more importantly, what kind of… Read more…


Richard Cutler

My first jazz concert was the Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Art Farmer, and I was enthralled from the first. Mulligan’s chugging lyricism and Art’s perfect taste were the things that thrilled me at 13, and I never looked back. I always felt that Art soloed having considered every note ever played in jazz, his economy… Read more…


Carol Sloane

I worked with Art Farmer in the early 1970’s at Ronnie Scott’s in London when I opened for Stan Getz. Ronnie fired Stan after the first week, and called Art in Vienna to finish out the gig. (That’s another story, which is in my book). I also did a Fri.-Sat. club date with him at… Read more…


Bob Mover

It was 1976, I think. It might have been ’77, but let’s say ‘76. I had been in Boston for a week working a club called Debby’s where I brought Tom Harrell up to play with me. We had a quintet. And we used local guys, Ray Santisi on piano, who was known as Muzzy,… Read more…


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… Read more…


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… Read more…


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… Read more…


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… Read more…