Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
He grew up in Philadelphia, PA. His parents are Stafford and Margaret Hunter. His brothers are Philip, Steven, and Darus Hunter. He studied in Philadelphia at Overbrook High's Music Magnet Program, under the direction of Dr. George Allen Sr. College at Penn State University, State College, PA, and the New School for Social Research: Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, NY, NY. He was the first trombonist to ever graduate from that school. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance from the New School, 1994.
Hunter became a professional musician at the age of 16. Attended Penn State University for 2 years before moving to New York (in 1990) and graduating from the New School for Social Research Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in 1994. He has studied with Dr. George Allen Sr., all music at Overbrook High School, Philadelphia, 1983-87; Dave Rupp, trombonist of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra, 1984-87; Mark Lusk, trombone professor at Penn State University, 1988-90; Jimmy Owens, jazz trumpeter; Steve Turre, jazz trombonist; and Benny Powell, jazz trombonist. In 1993, he performed for United States President Bill Clinton's inaugural. Since then, the trombonist has performed and toured with the likes of Illinois Jacquet, McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie & Brass Fantasy, Charli Persip, Tony Bennett, Roy Hargrove, McCoy Tyner, the Mingus Big Band, Charles Tolliver, Abdullah Ibrahim, Lee Ann Womack, Frank Foster, Reggie Workman, Dionne Warwick, Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Turre & Sanctified Shells, is a present member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Paul Mercer Ellington. Also of note, Stafford appeared in a movie entitled "The Day the Ponies Come Back" which was released in March of 2001 in France, and soon to be released in the USA.
Presently, Stafford is performing at local New York jazz clubs, festival in the United States and abroad with the groups of Frank Foster, Reggie Workman, Charles Tolliver big band, the Duke Ellington Orch., Abdullah Ibrahim, and many local groups of various musics (jazz, latin, classical, caribbean, r & b, hip-hop, etc...).
Several Caribbean sideman records (various artist) (1993-to-present); Masa Band: Don't Kill (1995); Nozomu Ito: It's Funkito (1998); Nancie Banks Orchestra: Out of It (1999); Wax Poetic: Wax Poetic (2000): Winds and Skins: Take One (2001); Julie Bluestone: Song for My Mother (2002); Frank Foster's Loud Minority Big Band: We Do it Diff'rent (2002); Duke Ellington Orchestra: Live on Tour: (2002); Kaliband: Son of an Oracle (2003); Clark Terry and the Young Titans of Jazz: Live at Marians (2005);Charles Tolliver bigband: With Love (2007)
Performed (the music) for Jello Pudding Commercial with Steve Turre & Sanctified Shells
Appeared in a Diet Coke commercial with music great Elton John
Acted and performed in a movie written and directed by Jerry Schatzberg entitled "the Day the Ponies Come Back" released in 2001. He appeared in that movie on tuba, but he performed on trombone & tuba for the sound track.
He performed in a documentary on the life of the late-great pianist Dorothy Donegen by Arthur Elgort-1995.
Appeared in the December issue of L1Uomo Vogue as a model (Italy's Vogue magazine for men )-1992. The issue also included jazz greats Milton Hinton, Illinois Jacquet, Clark Terry, etc...
He also was a model for Spiegel Clothing catalogue.
Invitation to attend the Pennsylvania Govenor's School for the Arts (1986), which was a awarded to the most gifted students in the 11th & 12th grades in all the arts. There were 2000 invitations for the entire state of PA.
He was the 1993 winner of the Al Grey Award for Musical Excellence, which was given to the most promising jazz trombone talent of 1993.
Full scholarship to attend the New School Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in New York, NY (1990).