Tyrone Jefferson (born July 5, 1953) is an American trombonist, composer, arranger and producer. Over the course of his career he has collaborated with acts such as James Brown, Public Enemy, LL Cool J and others.[1]

Tyrone Jefferson
Background information
Born (1953-07-05) July 5, 1953 (age 71)
New York City

Early life and education


Tyrone Jefferson was born on July 5, 1953, in Manhattan. At a young age, his family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where his interest in jazz began. After starting junior high school, he started to play the piano then the trombone.[2]

Jefferson holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, an M.S. in Management Information Systems from Pace University and a Professional Certificate in Arranging and Composition from Berklee College of Music.



In high school Jefferson led his own band, which included a trumpet player, tuba player, tenor saxophonist, and three percussionists. During this time he also experimented with songwriting and arranging for several instruments.

In the early 1970s Jefferson joined the Army and completed a three-year tour in Kaiserslautern, Germany where he would ultimately meet saxophonist Norwood "Pony" Poindexter. Poindexter would later invite Jefferson to join him as a trombonist during his Sunday sessions at a Frankfurt club. Jefferson developed his musical skills as he began working with a number of German bands across several genres.

Upon his return to the United States, Jefferson began arranging live jazz sets at Damian's in Augusta, Georgia. These sets were named sittin' in and helped solidify his place in the local jazz scene. In 1976 he was given a chance by percussionist Johnny Griggs, to join James Brown on tour as director of his band, The J.B.'s.[3] After his participation in the tour ended, he went on to collaborate with dozens of musicians, including James Brown,[4] rappers Public Enemy, hip-hop artist L.L. Cool J and Gospel artist Heather Headley. He has performed in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan, Morocco and the Caribbean, and at venues such as the Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, Greek Theatre and the Staples Center.

Jefferson also joined Frank Foster's jazz ensemble Living Color: 10 Shades of Black as well as Slide Hampton's World of Trombones. His work as a trombonist, songwriter, and composer and his dedication to African American history and culture has led to profiles in Carib magazine, Black Elegance, Sister-to-Sister, Charlotte Magazine and Jet magazine. Jefferson was among the composers commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to write A Hymn for World Peace in 1984. He is also featured in Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music by Amiri Baraka (2009).[5]

Activism and awards


Jefferson currently acts as executive director of A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas, a non- profit organization focused on reaching out to the community through music and educational programs that reflect the heritage of African Americans. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Harvey B. Gantt Center award.[6]



Personal life


Jefferson currently lives in Charlotte with his wife Toni. They both host the weekly Saturday Night R&B House Party[9] on Gaston College Radio and act as the producers of The State of Black Music on public access TV.[10] He has three children and five grandchildren.


  1. ^ "Tyrone Jefferson and A Sign of the Times". North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  2. ^ Fitts, Rick (2016-04-29). "ASC, Opera, Symphony honor area people for years of work, support". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  3. ^ "22nd July Jaume Vilaseca Trio plus JB's James Brown original Band San Javier Jazz Festival". Murcia Today. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  4. ^ "Musicians help James Brown's cape man". The Augusta Chronicle. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  5. ^ Baraka, Amiri (2009). Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music. University of California Press. pp. 331–333. ISBN 978-0-520-94309-4.
  6. ^ "'Culture Feast': Table for two? No: 500". The Charlotte Observer. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  7. ^ "3 reasons you should attend ASC's Culture Feast". Q City Metro. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  8. ^ "Concierto: Jaume Vilaseca Trio y Mar Vilaseca. Invitado especial: Ravi Chari". Murcia.com (in Spanish). 2016-07-21. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  9. ^ "Multi-talented musician and educator Tyrone Jefferson hosts WSGE's R&B House Party". Gaston College. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  10. ^ Wright, Renee (2015-08-08). "Tyrone Jefferson performs at NC Museum of History". AXS. Retrieved 2017-06-26.