Background & Experience
Dr. Travis Heath is Professor of Trumpet at Northeastern Illinois University, in Chicago, where he teaches applied lessons and conducts the NEIU Wind Ensemble.
Equally at home with orchestral, chamber, and jazz genres, Travis Heath has played principal trumpet with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Lead trumpet with the American Rhapsody Orchestra, and is currently principal trumpet of Camerata Chicago. Dr. Heath played lead trumpet for Ray Charles on PBS broadcasts and with MAS recording blues band “The Fins” at the Guinness Jazz festival in Cork, Ireland. His international touring includes performances in Japan, England, Ireland, France, Italy, The Czech Republic and Canada at prestigious music festivals.
Travis is an original member of the acclaimed Brass Roots Trio. Touring and performing since 2003 the trio has given performances throughout the United States and Europe. The trio has recorded 4 albums: Reflections of Peace (2004), Con Brio (2005), American Impressions (2008), and Brass Roots Christmas (2016). The American Impressions album garnered the trio an invitation to a command performance at the White House for the President and First Lady in December or 2009. A pioneer of this instrumentation - piano, trumpet and horn – Brass Roots Trio has played to standing ovations and rave reviews in every corner of the US and UK since 2004. Their tours have included performances at Oxford University, St. James Piccadilly in London, the Chicago Brass Festival, and on Community Concert Series, Chamber Music Series and NPR.
Dr. Heath is in demand as a performer, clinician, and has presented work at several Universities and at International Trumpet Guild Festivals. Dr. Heath's articles have been published in the Instrumentalist Magazine, Brass Herald, and the ITG Journal.
“…Heath (an experienced lead player) recommended a vocal concept and demonstrated by playing an excerpt from Hertel's Concerto No. 1 (third movement) on piccolo trumpet as well as double C's on a B-flat trumpet with enviable ease.”
Elisa Koehler-reporter, International Trumpet Guild Conference 2006
Travis Heath’s debut solo recording Point of Departure was released by the Mark recording label to highest acclaim, and is distributed by Naxos, and was included on the Grammy entry list.
Dr. Heath recorded the pedagogical exercises for the 3rd edition of Scott Whitener’s “The Complete Guide to Brass”, a text used in nearly 100 universities. He serves on the board of Brass for Beginners, a pedagogical curriculum for starting brass players on modified natural trumpets. He currently resides in Chicago, IL and is director and founder of the Chicago Brass Festival, now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Travis Heath is a fifth generation native Floridian from Vero Beach. He began studying the piano at an early age, taking up the trumpet at age 13. Two year later at age 15 Travis was selected by audition to perform with the Bell South Youth Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. While in Florida Travis won the 1995 Florida Trumpet Festival Solo Competition and performed frequently with the Orlando Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony Orchestra and commercially at Universal Studios and for the Walt Disney World Company.
Dr. Heath holds a D.M.A. and M.M. from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied with Dr. Scott Whitener, Prof. William Fielder, and upon graduation received the John I. Bettenbender award for “Highest Artistic Achievement”. He holds his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Central Florida where he studied with John Almeida and Lyman Brodie.
Dr. Heath is a Yamaha performing artist.