Kim Trujillo teaches drums at Air House in Wichita, KS.

A native of Kansas, Kim has been teaching and playing professionally for the past 20 years. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her double bachelor’s in Percussion Performance and Music Composition, and went on to get her Masters in Music Composition.
Kim has served as a teaching artist for the organizations Education Through Music and The New York Jazz Academy. She has performed nationally, with highlights including the JEN Festival, Lollapalooza, The Smithsonian Art Museum, and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Regular Performances at NYC venues include The Garage, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Cornelia St. Café. She has performed with legendary jazz masters such as Junior Mance, Don Braden, and Tim Price.
Kim is currently teaching drums, percussion and piano at Air House.

What are some of your main musical influences? 
KT: I grew up really loving ‘The Police’ and have only recently thought about how influenced I have been by Stewart Copeland’s drumming: it was edgy and improvisatory within the pop/punk context, and I feel that it is a sound that still comes out in my playing today. I also grew up really checking out Vinnie Colaiuta with Sting’s solo projects. Vinnie is SUCH a monstrously musical drummer, I’m glad I was listening to him so early on. Then as I grew older in college, I worked through John Riley’s jazz method books and used those as a guide through jazz drumming history, focusing on Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Jack DeJohnette. Today, I’m really I’m still studying these master drummers, and have more recently been influenced by Brian Blade and Matt Wilson.

What are your top 5 favorite albums? 
KT: 1. Bill Frisell, ‘With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones’ 2. Jeff Buckley, ‘Grace’ 3. Stan Getz and João Gilberto, ‘Getz/Gilberto’ 4. Bill Evans, ‘Waltz for Debby’ 5. Anything Prince, James Brown, Björk, The Police — there is so much Good music!!! I love anything Good!!!

What are some personal highlights of your playing career? 
KT: I LOVE playing with high-level jazz musicians for performances when the audience members are really technical listeners and can follow and appreciate the interaction of the musicians, so some concert highlights of my career have been my performances with Junior Mance at the 2011 JEN Music Conference, and the 2011 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.

When did you start playing music? 
KT: My mom taught me piano at the age of 5. I didn’t really pursue it like I should have, but it gave me a good foundation for music. I started the band program in 5th grade and picked percussion because my older brother was a drummer and I really idolized him. We had a great band teacher, Brad Shores, and a great private instructor, Ginger Zyskowski, growing up so we really had the right influences and great personalities to keep us enjoying music and striving to achieve.

Did you take lessons growing up? 
KT: Yes- private percussion lessons starting in 5th grade with my band instructor, Brad Shores, and later in 7th grade through high school with private percussion instructor, Ginger Zyskowski.

Who were some of your musical mentors? 
KT: I was really lucky to grow up with great musical instruction through my school district and in my community. I learned so much from Brad Shores, Ginger Zyskowski, Bob Lee, Gene Hutchinson, and Bryce Luty. As I got older and attended WSU, I was really influenced by J.C. Combs, Tom Fowler, and so many performers and clinicians that they brought in through the Wichita Jazz Festival and percussion department, primarily Matt Wilson. During my time in New York, I was so blessed to have Junior Mance as a mentor. He LIVED the jazz era, performing/touring with Dinah Washington and so many others. Everytime we performed together, I felt like I had a musical infusion from all his experiences from that era. It was truly humbling and priceless.

When did you know that you wanted to be a musician? What inspired you? 
KT: I think there was no definite point that I ‘decided’ to be a musician – I was just constantly trying to attain the level of the performers that I was hearing and inspired by. I wanted to be at that high level and I wanted other high-level musicians to view me and musically interact with me as an equal. I think that desire has been what has pushed me forward.

What are some of the most meaningful experiences of your teaching career? 
KT: I’m so proud to have attained the level of teaching where I can hear that students are playing like me. That is the highest compliment as a teacher, and it is so fulfilling to feel like I am viscerally passing on what I love to a whole new generation of musicians and listeners.

What do you love about music? 
KT: Music, like all artforms, has the ability to tie the performers to each other and to the viewer/listener on a visceral level and connect our cores to the divine. That is a pretty heavy power and one worth spending a lifetime cultivating. I also love that I can continue to evolve and grow as a musician and show off my hard work my entire life – there are not many careers where you can do the same. A professional football player can only perform his craft into his 40’s. As my body gets older and older, at least I can look forward to my craft getting better and better.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians? 
KT: TRANSCRIBE (listen and try to play along), take lessons, listen to your elders, analyze the masters, don’t ever think that you are ‘better’ than the information you are receiving. Want to grow as a musician for the love of music and connection with others, NOT to be better than the other players you are around. Be humble and grow.

109 S. Ridge Rd.
Wichita, KS 67209



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