About Shawn 

Master your instrument, Master the music, and then forget all that *!xy!@ and just play.
— charlie parker.

Shawn Williams is a jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator currently pursuing his Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, CO. Shawn currently studies jazz trumpet with Greg Gisbert, jazz composition with Drew Zaremba and is a member of the 2018 Downbeat award-winning Lab I Ensemble under the direction of Dana Landry. Additionally, Shawn currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the jazz studies department at UNC.


Prior to moving to Colorado, Shawn thrived in the San Francisco Bay Area where he established himself as an educator and performer. Among the many intuitions he taught at, Shawn served as the adjunct jazz trumpet instructor at Chabot College in Hayward, CA in addition to maintaining a studio of over 40 private students. While in the Bay Area, Shawn performed with groups such as: Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Foreverland, RAFA, the Bad Five, Dick Bright Orchestra and the Shawn Williams Quintet. Shawn has performed at the San Jose Summer & Winter Festivals, the Stanford Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival.


Most recently, Shawn has performed with the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Colorado Jazz Orchestra. You can hear Shawn on many recent recordings, including: All in One (2018) featuring compositions by David Caffey, Time Child (2019) featuring trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and compositions by Erik Applegate, as well as saxophonist Kenyon Brenner’s debut album The Long & Short of It (2019).


Shawn has gained nationwide attention through his involvement with the National Trumpet Competition, where he was a finalist in 2011, 2015 and 2016 and received third place in both 2015 and 2016. In 2012 and 2013, Shawn played the jazz trumpet chair in the Glenn Miller Orchestra of which he travelled to forty-seven states, Japan and Portugal. In January 2013, Shawn played on the orchestras latest record In the Mood. Additionally, Shawn has travelled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands as a trumpeter on board Royal Caribbean Cruises.


Shawn holds a B.M in Jazz Studies from California State University, Northridge (2009), an M.M in Jazz & Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music (2011) and an M.A in Teaching from Santa Clara University (2016). Shawn is expected to complete his Doctor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance/Composition from the University of Northern Colorado in Spring 2020.