Emiel Dejaegher is a musician, composer and educator from Chicago, Illinois, currently based in Rochester, New York. His music combines musical performance with his passion for music cognition to create a unique experience both as a performer and an educator. He was awarded Outstanding Trumpet Soloist by Wynton Marsalis in the inaugural 2020 Jazz Rudin Jazz Championship and selected as a member of the prestigious 2019 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, with performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, BBC Radio Foyle, and the San Jose Jazz Festival.
During his time at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, he worked under the tutelage of Jason Moran, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marcus Printup, Greg Hutchinson, Peter Martin, and Casey Benjamin. He placed third in the 2019 National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division and placed as a semifinalist in the small classical ensemble division. He has also performed at venues and festivals including Kodak Hall at the Rochester International Jazz Festival and Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was a teacher at the 2019 Birch Creek Music Performance Center Jazz I Session, an intensive two weeks of music performance training for high school jazz students. While teaching, he performed ten concerts as a member of the faculty big band with Tom Garling, Joey Tartell, Jeff Campbell, and Doug Stone. He has been a featured educator and private lesson teacher for the Fundacion Danilo Perez of Panama. Since the beginning of 2018, he has been a frequent member of the award-winning Silver Arrow Band.
He completed his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music doing a degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. He studied trumpet with Clay Jenkins and played lead and solo trumpet for three years in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, directed by Bill Dobbins. He is currently a Master’s student on a full tuition scholarship at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, learning individually from masters Danilo Perez, George Garzonne, Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, and Bruno Raberg. He is currently studying trumpet with Jason Palmer and composition with Tamar Diesendruck.
His most recent project is to create a teaching curriculum that uses music as an interconnective force for creative learning and cultural immersion in early education. He plans on making music for children easier to approach, focused on its creative elements, and made more culturally inclusive. Simultaneously, he is composing pieces that will be culminated into an upcoming album.