Pharez Whitted

Pharez is a performer, composer, producer, and educator. Pharez was nine when he found a trumpet in the closet. “I picked it up, and I could pretty much play it immediately,” he remembers. “I asked my brother Leo to teach me how to play. He showed me the C Major scale, and then he told me to get lost. My oldest brother Tommy taught me everything else ’cause he could play trumpet too.” Pharez thinks that his attraction to the instrument may have been inspired by the Louis Armstrong records his mother often played. “It was like he was just proud,” he says of listening to Armstrong. “It was so majestic.”

He has performed with such notables as Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, Elvin Jones, Ahmad Jamal, Clark Terry, Branford Marsalis, Johnny Griffin, David “Fathead” Newman, Phil Woods, Monty Alexander, The Count Basie Orchestra, Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, George Duke, John Mellencamp, Patti Austin, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Kirk Whalum, Ari Brown and Ramsey Lewis to name a few. Pharez grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended Shortridge High School, receiving his undergraduate degree from Depauw University and his graduate degree from Indiana University. He was also on the MoTown Jazz Label MoJazz where he released two CDs under his name Pharez Whitted and Mysterious Cargo.

Pharez is presently director of jazz studies at Chicago State University.