The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast; Episode #22: Jerry Hey

Episode #22 – Jerry Hey

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #22 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features Jerry Hey, trumpet player and 5-time Grammy Award winning arranger.

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About Jerry Hey

Jerry Hey in 1978
Jerry Hey in 1978

Jerry Hey brought horn section writing and performing to an elevated art form. Born into a musical family in a small town in Illinois, Jerry immediately took to the trumpet. At 12 years old, he was learning Clifford Brown solos by ear.

Initially, Jerry was on the path to be an orchestral trumpet player. He studied with Charles Geyer of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra during high school. However, a fortuitous turn of events led him to Indiana University where he studied under Mr. William Adam and became close friends with trumpet players Charley Davis and Larry Hall. These connections led Jerry to open up his interests to a broad spectrum of trumpet playing.

Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams, Kim Hutchcroft
Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams, Kim Hutchcroft

Jerry left school to start working in show bands in Honolulu, Hawaii. While on the island, he and some of his friends formed the band OX, which later evolved into Seawind. Jerry began writing and arranging charts for the band, spawning a whole new set of tools in his arsenal.

In 1976, Seawind moved to Los Angeles to begin recording albums. The band performed in front of many influential people in Hollywood, eventually leading to Jerry and the Seawind horns becoming in demand for other work. Among the people that heard Seawind was Quincy Jones, who hired Jerry to arrange for him on projects, including Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.”

Since those first recordings for Quincy, Jerry has arranged for and played with many of the biggest names in popular music, R&B, jazz, and blues. He has won 5 Grammy Awards for his arranging.

Kim Hutchcroft, Bill Reichenbach, Michael Jackson, Bruce Swedien, and Gary Grant.
Kim Hutchcroft, Bill Reichenbach, Michael Jackson, Bruce Swedien, and Gary Grant.

Jerry Hey Trumpet Links

Trumpet Podcast Credits

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  • Jim Cheek

    Super interview. I wanna know what comprised his 1hr. 15min “brutal” routine that he and Larry Hall came up with.

    Thanks Jerry!

  • Alistair

    One question I would love to have heard is does Jerry still play the trumpet? Wayne mentioned in his podcast that Jerry doesn’t really play anymore. If that’s the case, did Jerry make a final decision (possibly influenced by health issues?) or did his playing just phase out over time as his writing commitments took over? Brilliant podcast, I am such a fan of Jerry that it was great to hear his stories. Thanks John for doing these.
    From Alistair.