Freddie Hubbard was one of the most prominent jazz trumpeters of his generation. Hubbard released over 50 albums as leader and appears on some on some of the seminal albums of the 1960s including Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz, "John Coltrane's "Ascension," and Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage." In addition to his his work as a sideman Hubbard was also a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1961- 1964 and then spent a year with Max Roach before leading his own quintet. In the 1970s Hubbard achieved popular success with his grammy winning album "First Light" but a series of more commercial albums damaged his reputation with the jazz establishment. In 1977 he returned to his traditional jazz roots as a member of V.S.O.P. He continued to record through the 1980s and 1990s, although a serious lip injury in 1992 and a series of health problems plagued him. Hubbard died in 1980 from complications from a heart attack he suffered earlier that year.
Freddie Hubbard was named a NEA Jazz Master in 2006. Freddie Hubbard was offered a French horn scholarship to Indiana Central College but turned it down to focus on trumpet. Freddie Hubbard played the solo on “Zanzibar,” from Billy Joel’s Grammy-winning 1978 album, "52nd Street."
Freddie Hubbard was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the youngest of six children in a musical family. Growing up Hubbard played the tuba, french horn and mellophone before settling on the trumpet. As a teen he played locally with Wes and Monk Montgomery and studied the trumpet at Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music. In 1958, at age 20, he moved to New York City and was soon booking gigs with veteran artists such as Philly Joe Jones and Sonny Rollins.