About Ken Larson's Brasswerks
My search for a trumpet versatile enough to fit my playing needs goes back to my early days in Los Angeles. I had a Bach Bb and C trumpet and neither of them really “fit me as a player.” I was playing new music at Cal Arts, playing in a Brass Trio that was part of the Los Angeles Music Center “Music Center on Tour” series, as well as a community orchestra gig and lead trumpet in a big band (the short story is I won the jazz chair in the band, but the lead player decided to take a cruise ship gig). While attending Cal Arts, I purchased a Chicago Benge Trumpet from a friend of mine. It worked well for the commercial stuff and the New Music I was playing.
In the trio I played my Bach C that had been converted to a tunable bell setup. I absolutely loved the blow of the Chicago Benge, however the sound above mezzo forte really didn’t work in an orchestral situation. I was fortunate to get a long term sub gig with the San Diego Symphony as Assistant Principal after playing a couple of seasons with Pacific Symphony. During my time in San Diego, I purchased a great Mt Vernon Bach Bb. It was at this time I thought if I could ever get the blow of the Benge and the sound of a Bach, I would have my perfect trumpet.
In 1990 I went to work for Bob Malone’s Brass Technology first in Larry Minick’s old shop and then in Van Nuys, CA. I continued to do the Opera, Ballet, Broadway Shows and Studio work during the 90’s and was able to test new ideas almost every night at work. I worked for Bob until early 1997 when it was time for me to tool up and open my own shop.
Being the only employee at BrassWerks is great! I get to see every project from start to finish, try new ideas, design new trumpets, lead pipes, mouthpieces, etc. I continue to perform so that I can continually test and evaluate new designs.
My goal is to design a trumpet that fits you at a price point that fits within your budget.
Ken Larson at Conservatorio Victoria de los Ángeles in Madrid, Spain, 2018
Ken Larson has performed various studio work at Warners, Paramount, MGM, etc. for major motion pictures, television and radio including: "Police Academy II and V", "Out of Justice", "Firestarter Rekindled", "Inner Space", "Hudson Hawk", "Ollie North Story", "China Beach", "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves", "Street Fighter", "101 Dalmations", "Cliffhanger", "My Blue Heaven", "Hot to Trot", "Paradise", "The Flash", "Beetlejuice". His experiences in Pop/Jazz Orchestras include A Very Special Jazz Band, Los Angeles Pops, San Diego Pops and New American Orchestra. Ken has had the pleasure of performing with great artists such as: The 3 Tenors, Aretha Franklin, Herb Alpert, Natalie Cole, The Moody Blues, Brian Wilson, Wayne Newton, Welsh National Choir and more.
His experiences in Theatre and Opera performances include many shows for the Los Angeles Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, Jeffrey Ballet Theatre and Rudolph Nuryev Ballet.
Ken has performed for the LA Productions of Broadway Shows including performances in Beauty and the Beast, Big, Candide, Carousel, Miss Saigon, Peter Pan, Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Showboat, Swan Lake and The Last Empress.
His performances with various orchestras include the Concordia Chamber Orchestra as Principal Trumpet, Glendale Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, New West Symphony, Newport Chamber Orchestra as Principal Trumpet, Orange County Master Chorale as Principal Trumpet, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Sacamento Symphony, San Diego Symphony - Asst. Principal Trumpet, San Francisco Opera - Western Touring Company, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra as Principal Trumpet.
Currently Ken is the Principal Trumpet for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra in Santa Barbara, California, Principal Trumpet for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Traverse City, Michigan and plays with Judy Harrison's Swing Shift band, three man horn section.
Ken is also the Instructor of Trumpet and Brass Ensemble conductor at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan where he is able to share his expertise as an educator and experienced performer.