Bobby Lee Bradford (born July 19, 1934 in Cleveland, Mississippi) is an American jazz trumpeter, cornetist, bandleader, and composer. He is noted for his work with Ornette Coleman. In October 2009 Bradford became the second recipient of the Festival of New Trumpet Music's Award of Recognition.
Bradford grew up in Mississippi and moved with his family to Dallas, Texas in 1946. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he reunited with Ornette Coleman, whom he had previously known in Texas. Bradford subsequently joined Coleman's ensemble but was replaced not long after by Don Cherry when he drafted into the U.S. Air Force.
After playing in military bands for three or four years, September 1954 to October 1958, he later rejoined Coleman's quartet from 1961 to 1963, a period during which the group did not record and performed publicly infrequently. Bradford was again replaced, this time by Freddie Hubbard, when he left to pursue further studies. Later, Bradford began a long running association with the clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that brought both increased exposure. Following Carter's death in 1991, Bradford fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo'tet, with which he has continued to perform since.
- Isoardi, Steven L. (2006). The Dark Tree: Jazz and the Community Arts in Los Angeles. George Gund Foundation Book in African American Studies. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24591-1
- Litweiler, John (1990). The Freedom Principle: Jazz After 1958. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80377-1
- Dailey, Raleigh. Folklore, Composition, and Free Jazz: The Life and Music of John Carter. Ph.D. dissertation; University of Kentucky, 2007.
- ↑ "FONT :: Festival of the New Trumpet :: Full History." fontmusic.org.
- ↑ "Bobby Bradford: Self-Determination in the Great Basin" by Clifford Allen, All About Jazz
- A Fireside Chat With Bobby Bradford by Fred Jung, from Jazz Weekly
- Article by Michelle Mercer from Pomona College Magazine Online
- Bobby Bradford @ 75 from Point of Departure: An Online Music Journal
- Bobby Bradford bio from ARTISTdirect site
- Education bio from Pasadena City College
- Images of Bobby Bradford from the Finding Aid for the Mark Weber Jazz Collection 1970 - 2005 in the Online Archive of California. Keyword search on "Bobby Bradford."