Solo composition & improvisation

Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet.  Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong.  A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings “exquisitely hostile”.

Listen to Nate Wooley's "Trumpet A" from Smeraldina Rima's release of Trumpet/Amplifier.


An 8 minute acoustic improvisation.



Wooley's improvisation encompass the jazz tradition of the trumpet from its earliest practitioners and explode outward to encompass the entire body, voice, and the use of amplification to amplify inaudible sounds and sculpt feedback. His solo performances often veer from deconstructions of the American songbook to large washes of noise and quiet storytelling.


He is working on a new recording that will document his recent experiments with the voice and acoustic trumpet.



With the release of The Complete Syllables Music on Pleasure of the Text Records, Wooley places his decidedly iconoclastic stamp on the world of contemporary composition for trumpet.


He is also engaged in a commission series for works for the virtuosity of listening from iconoclastic composers such as Christian Wolff, Michael Pisaro, Annea Lockwood, and Ashley Fure. These pieces will begin to be premiered in a special mini-festival at Brooklyn's Issue Project Room on September 29th and 30th, 2017.