Fareed Simpson-Hankins is a trumpet player, composer, educator and bandleader born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His trumpet playing is inspired by the sound of Miles Davis, the technical virtuosity of Dizzy Gillespie, the soulfulness of Lee Morgan, the confidence of Freddie Hubbard, and the joy and spirit of Louis Armstrong. He first picked up the trumpet at eight years old. As a youth, he studied music at the Mount Airy Cultural Center jazz program, and graduated from Central High School. He played at local venues at a young age with the Developing Excellence.Inc and was mentored by Philadelphia musicians Byard Lancaster and Tony Williams. He acquired a love for music as a child when his parents practiced and brought him to their performances. He also learned from playing spirituals and gospel music in the church he grew up in, Shiloh Temple Church of God in Christ.

Simpson would then go on to attend Temple University, where he had the opportunity to study with some of the finest trumpet players and veteran jazz musicians. Upon graduation, he was distinguished as the recipient of The Presser Award for Graduate Research. He was also a member of the JM Jazz World Orchestra. Recently, he has been seen on PBS, NFL Network, heard on WRTI 90.1 and Sirius XM radio. He’s performed at the 2017 Jazz is Back festival in Grožnjan, Croatia, and at the 2016 North Sea Jazz Festival, in Rotterdam. He also won an outstanding soloist award at the 2020 Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center. He now leads his own quintet and co-leads Brothers.Ink with his brother. In 2019, he was featured on Temple University’s Constant Renaissance, which was Nominated for a GRAMMY.

In 2021, Simpson stepped into the role of film director and producer. He created The Second Line Bebop Series, which highlights cultural parallels between Philadelphia and New Orleans, with a focus on jazz music. He also wrote an article on the topic titled Second Line Bebop, which was published in Indiana University Press Journal of Jazz Education Research and Practice. Fulfilling the momentum, he produced and directed Saxophone City in 2022, and Brass and Brotherly Love in 2023.


In 2023, he was the lead trumpet player on the Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill and the Fugees 25th anniversary tour, which featured Lauryn Hill, The Fugees and guest artists Nas, Black Thought, Questlove, The Delfonics and Lil Wayne. He has also toured with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, in 2023 he won the split-lead trumpet chair in the U.S. Air Force Band The Airmen of Note, a chair he currently holds. He is also an Artist In Residence on the faculty at Temple University. His mission is to have an impactful career and join the long lineage of great trumpet players by performing for various audiences and connecting people of different backgrounds.

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