Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Trask, Alvin (Fitzgerald)
Alvin was raised on a farm in Independence, Louisiana, until age 12. He started playing the trumpet in the 4th grade. Alvin was highly influenced by his Uncle Charles who played the tenor saxophone. Alvin's parents were great Southern University supporters, so on weekends during football season they would make their way to Baton Rouge for the games. Some of his best musical memories were seeing the marching band and hearing those trumpets. During this time Alvin began to make significant progress on the trumpet. He was summoned to perform at church and was always available for a tune or two during family events. In jr. high school he was asked to join the high school band. He also performed with a college R&B band called Galaxy. Alvin performed in various ensembles while in jr. high and high school, ranging from marching bands, brass bands, jazz ensemble, symphonic bands, and orchestras.
After high school, Alvin attended Louisiana State University where he majored in Music. He studied trumpet with James West (principal trumpet of the Baton Rouge symphony). During this time Alvin started to propel his interest in studying jazz more seriously while pursuing his degree in Classical Trumpet Performance (1988). He would hang out at jam sessions in New Orleans on weekends to explore the scene. He also performed with the members of the Southern University Jazz Ensemble and studied privately with Alvin Batiste (Director of Jazz Studies at Southern University). During the summer of 1989 Alvin studied and performed at the Thelonious Monk Institute and Jazz Festival in Dolo, Italy. He shared the bandstand with many great artists such as Gary Bartz, Walter Bishop Jr., Lewis Nash, Bobby Broom, Roberta Davis, and Thelonious Monk Jr.
While attending Howard University in 1989 for graduate school, Alvin continued to explore his love of music by freelancing in the Washington Metro area. Alvin got his first major gig with the Tony Kelley Royal Ambassador Big Band, and he toured, recorded and performed with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble and Federal Focus Jazz Band. In addition, Alvin has studied at the Eastman School of Music, University of Northern Colorado, University of Hartford and with with Bill Grimes, Eddie Henderson, Fred Irby, and Webster Young. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Music at Trinity College in Washington DC (Summers Only).
Alvin has performed with many musicians throughout his career, such as Marlene Shaw, Curtis Fuller, Stanley Cowel, Delfayo Marsalis, Al Grey, Vanessa Rubin, Grady Tate, Cecil Bridgewater, Antonio Hart, Gene Bertoncini, Kirk Franklin, Gene Chandler, Lloyd Price, Ben E. King, Jerry Butler, Karen Francis, Wes Anderson and numerous others. In addition, Alvin has performed at the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Anacostia Jazz festival, Sacramento Jazz Jubilee and the New Orleans jazz festival.
Currently, Alvin is the associate conductor and soloist with the Pan American Big Band and performs with the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra. He also performs with the Capitol All Stars Big Band, Soul Service, Sun Machine (Organic Soul and Funk) and his own Jazz Quartet. In addition Alvin continues display his versatility as a musician through performing classical music with the Jewish Community Symphony Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, Holy Comforter Brass and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. He is also actively involved in Music Education.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, and serves as Chairman of the Performing Arts Department at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Alvin is very active as a clinician and guest conductor of Jazz Ensembles.
His wife is Sonia Hutchinson Trask and his kids are Anwar Romare Trask (9/1/99) and Sahara Genet Trask (1/8/2002).
Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 90' (1990); Federal Focus Jazz Band: Renewing The Tradition (1991); Clint Holmes: Edges (1994); Soulservice: Dreamcatcher (1996);
Pan American Symphony Orchestra and Big Band: Live (1999); Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra: A Work In Progress (2000); Soulservice: Sandcastles (2003).