American trumpeter and composer J.Q. Whitcomb was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he started playing professionally from an early age in a variety of musical styles including jazz, classical, funk, ska, and reggae. He studied Jazz Trumpet with Kenny Davis and Marcus Belgrave at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, and has also had the honor of learning the craft of jazz from Eddie Daniels, Wendell Logan, Gary Bartz, and other luminaries. He has shared the stage with a number of illustrious world-class jazz performers including DeeDee Bridgewater, Laura Fygi, Robin Eubanks, Clark Terry, Neal Creque, Greg Bandy, Peter Dominguez, and Dan Wall.
J.Q. has been highlighted in local and national press regularly since moving to China in early 2003, including features on Shanghai Television and Shanghai Daily, as well as in all of Shanghai’s most prominent English language magazines (Shanghai Talk, That’s Shanghai, 8 Days/SH, City Weekend, Metrozine) for performances around the city.
He was featured in early 2007 as a guest artist on a tour through Denmark with the Sinne Eeg-Martin Schack quartet, an internationally-acclaimed European jazz group. He also performed at the 2008 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. His latest project has been to take on the role of music director for Soulfire, a new and quickly growing radio broadcaster whose shows can be heard in four cities around China, including Guangzhou and Shanghai.
JQ maintains a website about the Shanghai jazz scene at www.shanghaijazzscene.com/blog. He is also involved in teaching, marketing, and development at the JZ School, a progressive learning institute which opened in the fall of 2006 and specializes in all aspects of jazz music and musical expression.
Individually, JQ has played in a number of styles and contexts, including electronic music/acid jazz, salsa, funk, reggae, and Afro-Cuban. JQ’s quintet Five Below has performed at many of Shanghai’s most popular jazz venues, as well as in other Chinese cities including Xi’an, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Chongqing. The group has been featured weekly at JZ club for over three years, and utilizes the cream of Shanghai’s growing crop of world-class jazz musicians. The group has an extensive repertoire of original music and has recently recorded a new album. He also performs regularly with a number of other established groups in Shanghai, including the Shanghai Latin Project, the JZ All-star Big Band, and the Cotton Club band.