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John Harbaugh

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Professor of Music

John Harbaugh is the Professor of trumpet at Central Washington University.  He has over 35 years of college teaching experience. He performed at the Vatican’s year 2000 concert series in Rome and as a member of the CWU brass quintet at Washington WMEA conventions and All Northwest MENC conferences.  His professional experience includes touring with Tom Jones, Paul Anka, and Buddy Rich. He appears on three Grammy nominated albums and has recorded as a jazz soloist with the London Symphony. He was principal trumpet in the Yakima Symphony for 17 years and has been a member of regional orchestras in Iowa, Washington, and Alaska. In the last several years he performed in groups behind Charo, Bob Newhart, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Disney touring company of “High School Musical”.  He was director and executive producer of “A New and Different Way of Getting More Music Out of Trumpet” which was rereleased on DVD in 2007  This 3 DVD series documents internationally known teacher Professor William Adam’s pedagogical concepts for playing and teaching trumpet. His trumpet students have consistently been in the semi final rounds of the National Trumpet Competition in both the ensemble, undergraduate, and graduate divisions. In 2004, 2011 and in 2013 the CWU trumpet ensemble was invited to perform at the International Trumpet Guild Conventions.  He presented lecture recitals at Soochow and the Chinese Cultural Universities in Taipei, Taiwan.  He performed as a soloist in 2013 and 2015  with Tao Yuan Symphonic Band in Taiwan. His released CD’s “New Vistas” and “Chilaxin with the John Harbaugh Jazz Trio” can be heard on Spotify and other websites. In 2018 and 2019 you can hear his work as lead trumpet and as a jazz soloist on Greg Yasinitsky’s “Yazz Band” Cds or on the web. Feel free to contact him at He currently works as a soloist/clinician for C.G. Conn/Selmer Corporation and has appeared in the U.S. Canada, and Taiwan. 

Contact Professor Harbaugh

Jazz Biography

John Harbaugh’s history and experience in the jazz idiom is extensive.   Since his days as an undergraduate performing in the winning band and being selected as a outstanding jazz soloist at the Wichita Jazz Festival to his current position at director of Jazz two at CWU.

He has degrees from schools with nationally acclaimed jazz programs, a BA from University of Northern Iowa,  MME from the University of North Texas ( lead trumpet in the 2 o’clock band) and 40 hours on a Doctorate at Indiana  University ( lead trumpet in David Baker’s premiere jazz ensemble). He has studied jazz improvisation with Rich Matteson, Ashley Alexander, and David Baker.  During his career he has directed college bands that have been invited to perform at the North Sea, Montreux, and was selected from at national pool to have his group be one of only ten to compete at the Notre Dame Jazz festival.  His professional career includes a US and British Isles tour with Buddy Rich,  two years touring the US, Japan, and Europe with Paul Anka, two years touring the US, Canada, and Britain with Tom Jones, as well as working most of the shows in Las Vegas during the mid 1980’s.  He can be hear as a jazz soloist with the London Symphony on “Powell Canyons”, in the trumpet section on four Ashley Alexander /Frank Mantooth  recordings,  and 2009 Drum Channel DVD “Buddy Rich up close”.  He has been involved in three Grammy nominated productions and on one Dove award winning recording.  He has recorded educational jazz material for Barnhouse and Music Minus One publications

He has perform in groups backing up artists like, Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan, Anita ODay,  Sammy Davis Jr. Bob Newhart, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, and Lionel Hampton to name only a few.

He continues to work having recently played in pit orchestras for touring Broadway shows like, 9 to 5, The Color Purple, Disney’s High School Musical, and “South Pacific”  He brings wealth of knowledge and experience when works as a clinician,  an adjudicator, and or performer.  He is currently is faculty member at Central Washington University teaching applied trumpet, coaching trumpet choir, and directing the second jazz band.   He is as a faculty member of the Yellowstone Jazz camp,  a clinician for Conn /Selmer Corporation, and as has served a member of the advisory committee for the National Trumpet Competition.

Selected Performances:

Classic You Tube videos


MP3 recordings of professor Harbaugh.

John Harbaugh live at The Seasons.

Has Performed with or for:
  • Jay Leno
  • Charo
  • Mannheim Steamroller
  • Sammy Davis,
  • Jr, Tony Bennett
  • Woody Herman
  • Stan Getz
  • Andy Williams
  • Bob Hope
  • Ray Charles
  • Mel Torme
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Jim Nabors
  • Clark Terry
  • Bill Watrous
  • Wayne Newton
  • Freddie Hubbard
  • Suzanne Somers
  • Rich Little
  • Maureen McGovern
  • Lionel Hampton Big Band.
  • Tom Jones
  • Paul Anka
  • Engleburt Humperdink
  • Rich Little
  • Pete and Conte Condolli
  • Elvi



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