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Trumpeter Jun Iida takes a musical leap with 'Evergreen'

Trumpeter Jun Iida grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and had his first experiences on stage turning music pages for his mother, a semi-professional koto player who encouraged a connection to music and the family’s Japanese heritage.

Iida’s love of music gradually overtook his education and early career as an engineer. He moved around the country, studying in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and then moving to Los Angeles, where he worked his way into the jazz scene.

The pandemic hit while Iida was in Southern California working on the music destined for his debut album, Evergreen. The album title (and song title) refers to his move to Seattle during that time, though it was actually an engineering job that led to his relocation.

Inspired by musicians, including those in his studio session band – guitarist Martin Budde, pianist Dylan Hayes, bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Xavier LeCouturier – Iida made his commitment to life as a professional musician.

Evergreen’s original songs include Iida’s trumpet matched by guitar on the album and in the studio, creating an upper range for the songs that lends them a lightness equaled by clear melodic and harmonic ideas.

Iida also blends the Japanese folk, classical and blues music he heard as a kid in St. Louis with the hip-hop of his teen years to bring a modern perspective to mainstream jazz reminiscent of his trumpet hero, Roy Hargrove.

The strength of his first album has earned Iida plenty of positive attention from critics, musicians and music lovers. Most importantly, his mom likes it. “That’s been the most fun,” Iida said, “being able to share the music with everybody who’s closest to me.”

With musical connections in Seattle that seem built to last, we’re sure to keep this now New York-based trumpeter coming back to share music with his close friends and fans in the Northwest.


  • Jun Iida - trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Martin Budde - guitar
  • Dylan Hayes - piano
  • Michael Glynn - bass
  • Xavier LeCouturier - drums


  1. Akatombo
  2. Evergreen
  3. Forgotten Memories
    Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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