Greg Wells is a creative music teacher and band director who plays trumpet in the Truth in Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to TIJO, Greg often freelances with other area bands including River City Big Band, Beltline Big Band, Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, Grand River Jazz Band, Horns of Power, and Hark-Up Horns, among others.
After graduating from Northview High School in Grand Rapids, Greg earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Western Michigan University and his Master’s Degree in music education from Michigan State University.
For eight years Greg was the middle school and high school band director at DeWitt Public Schools (north of Lansing). He enjoyed pioneering the new music learning theory (developed by Ed Gordon) and became a sought after conference speaker sharing his experiences with this method.
This year, though, he begins a new job at his alma mater, Northview High School. He follows the 40-year tenure of Max Colley II who retired this past spring. The job, Greg says, requires someone to have marching band, concert band, and jazz band skills and he fits the bill.
Greg enjoys composing and arranging, most of which is done for jazz bands though he has done a lot of brass ensemble or special occasion music for churches, string quartets, and marching bands.
Jazz is a favorite musical genre for Greg. “I like everything about jazz: The variety, its simplicity to complexity, and improvisation. The level of musicianship in jazz groups is usually high and that makes playing a real pleasure.”
“There is a newness each time you play a piece. Some of the differences are so subtle that the audience may not know or see, but you end up looking over at another musician and you get a nod or a smile– you both heard it. You’re having a conversation without words through the music.”