Victor Haskins is a world-class trumpet player, improviser, composer/arranger, bandleader, and educator.
As an artist, Victor brings a rare and unique spirit and perspective to the music he performs and composes. This worldly approach to life is a result growing up in different countries in Asia and Africa until the age of 10. Through music, Victor is able to synthesize his thoughts and experiences into audible emotions and sonic stories to connect with audiences. His compositions and improvisations never cease to elude the expectations of the listener, thus providing a constant stream of interest and excitement–all possible because of a foundation of meticulous, originally-conceived logic and an open mind. Add to this a command of the trumpet which allows for limitless expression–virtuoso technique combined with a mercurial sound that is sensual and smoky in one moment, and powerful and clear in the next. The only predictable aspect of Victor’s music is the clear message forged into the hearts and minds of listeners.
Victor has accomplished much in his short career thus far at 21 years old. Some notable highlights include the release of his debut album of all original compositions–"The Truth"–on 32 Bar Records in March of 2013, his being selected as a member of the 2013 class of the prestigious Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, placing 2nd in the 2012 National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division, and placing 3rd in the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition. Victor has also been named a Joseph J. Kennedy, Jr. Scholar three times consecutively by the Richmond Jazz Society, and his bands have been featured at the Richmond Jazz Festival (2013) and Richmond’s 2nd Street Festival (2011). Most recently (2014), Victor is the Director of the first and only Jazz Outreach program for the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts National Symphony Orchestra Education Department. In this capacity, he leads his ensemble in exposing elementary schools in the Washington Metropolitan Area to jazz music.
During Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) yearlong partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) from 2012-2013 through a grant from VCU, Victor was commissioned to compose a piece for the UKZN ensemble, as well as to arrange a composition for collaboration between J. Plunky Branch (Plunky and the Oneness of Juju). Victor’s composition "Breathe" and his arrangement of Mr. Branch’s "Nia" appear on the result of the inter-continental collaboration, which is a CD called "Leap of Faith".
Victor has composed and/or arranged works for varying ensembles and instrumentations, including pieces for solo cornet, jazz quartet/quintet, brass ensemble, woodwind sextet and rhythm section, and jazz big band.
Victor has recorded and/or performed with artists such as Christina Perri, Dena DeRose, Howard Curtis, Jason Moran and the Bandwagon, Jason Mraz, John D’earth, k.d. lang, Larry Willis, Lonnie Liston-Smith, Mike Smith, Nat Reeves, René Marie, Rex Richardson, Robbin Thompson, Steve Kessler, Temptations, Tia Fuller, Tommy Campbell, Tony Martucci, and Warren Wolf.
In 2011, Victor was featured in VCU’s “Our Time, Right Now” branding campaign, and in 2012, Victor was featured in VCU’s "Make It Real" re-branding campaign.
Victor was selected as a Special Guest for the first ever Izmir International Jazz Camp, where he taught and performed jazz during the month of July in 2012 in Izmir, Turkey.
Victor holds a Jazz Studies/Performance degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where he completed the 4-year music program in only 3 years (the first and only person to ever accomplish this feat).
As a Sonaré Performing Artist, Victor plays Sonaré Bb trumpets and flugelhorns, and as a Denis Wick Performing Artist, Victor plays Denis Wick trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn mouthpieces.
Victor Haskins Trio performs an original composition by Victor entitled “Spite” live on WRIR