A Note-worthy Name
Laurie Frink, a native of Pender, Nebraska, was born August 8, 1951 and is considered the first great woman lead trumpeter in jazz. In fifth grade, Frink began playing in her school band and continued on throughout college. She attended the University of Nebraska and played trumpet in the Jazz Lab Band, she was the only female member of the band in the early 1970s. After the university, Frink went to New York to study jazz and leading with Jimmy Maxwell, a famous lead trumpeter. A lead trumpeter does more than lead the trumpet section; they set the tone for the whole band, making lead trumpet a very challenging task at times. Frink went on to work with jazz greats such as Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman, George Russell, Mel Lewis, and more. Frink continued to study jazz trumpet and lead playing from Carmine Caruso, who she later fell in love with, living with him until his death in 1987 (Lees).