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Composers - Todd Murphy


In 1993, Todd finished his Masters degree in Music from the University of Miami where he studied Bass Trombone and Composition/Arranging .He also was a member of the Concert Jazz Band while at the University. In 1994, Todd moved to Brazil and has since been working as a trombonist, arranger, composer, conductor and teacher.

Todd is currently Musical Director of the Banda Jazz Sinfonica de Diadema which is a fabulous 26 piece jazz orchestra located in the Sao Paulo, Brazil area. ( He also writes for many of Brazil´s top musical organizations such as the Orquestra Jazz Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo (arrangements for Dave Liebman and Orchestra, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Orchestra, Jazz Composers with Ted Nash and Orchestra), Orquestra Filhamonica de São Bernardo, Banda Sinfonica Jovem do Estado de Sao Paulo, Orquestra de Sopros (Conservatorio de Tatui). Todd is a featured writer with Soundscape Big Band Jazz. Banda Jazz Sinfonica de Diadema and Banda Jazzco. Todd has recorded a solo CD (easily available on the web – try CD Baby for example) which features many of Brazil´s finest jazz players – Todd Murphy and Bandazul – Novo Brasileiro. Todd was commissioned in 2004 to write an original composition for Fred Mills (formerly with Canadian Brass) and the Brass Choir from the University of Georgia (Blues Fantasy for Brass).

Notable achievements as a Bass Trombonist: Bandazul, Banda Jazzco, Banda Metal Maneira of Chico Oliveira, SoundScape Big Band Jazz, Banda Savana, Zerro Santos Big Band Project, Arcomancia, Arte Viva Orchestra, Appeared with Rita Lee on the Jo Soares TV show in 2000, Trombonismo (1998-1999), Interchanges (contemporary Jazz), Grupo Novo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Maestro Graham Griffiths – New Music Festival (Santos e Sao Paulo), 1994-98 – Bienal of Contemporary Brazilian Music (Rio de Janeiro), 1993-95-97 – Also as soloist for the world premier of “Bass Trombone Concerto” (Roberto Vitorio,1997), Miami Symphony Orchestra (1990-1993), Miami City Ballet Orchestra (1990-1993) University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (1992-1993) – Magnum Band (1990-1993), John Goodwyn and the Appetizers – UCF Jazz Lab (1986-1988).

Shows with Famous Artists: Banda Mantiquira, Toquinho, Gal Costa, Zelia Duncan, Daniela Mercury, Ivan Lins, Rita Lee, Titas, Fala Mansa, Elba Ramalho, Zimbo Trio, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jerry Lewis, Les Elgart Orchestra.

Big Band Charts

Blues for Elisa

Blues for Elisa was written for the composer´s wife “Elisa”. It is a show tune that will work good as an opener or Encore. The form is irregular starting with the constant F minor swing that is interrupted almost randomly by the Bb7+11 bridge. The rhythm section must stay on it´s toes to make the changes at the right time. Each of the solos is of varying lengths making for alot of surprises (for the audience…not the band hopefully). There are ensemble passages and a 5 sax soli making it a challenging, but highly effective chart!

Solos – Guitar, Alto 2, Trumpet 3 and Trombone 3.

Price: $19.95

Blues for Elisa - Todd Murphy
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Dwarf Steps

Dwarf Steps was written for Soundscape Jazz Big Band and recorded in São Paulo, Brazil. It is a modern chart with somewhat difficult chord changes and melody.


There is some doubling in the sax section so you need 4 flutes (Alto 1, Alto 2, Tenor 2 and Bari). There are several solos: Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Bass, Drums and a collective improvisation at the end (Rhythm Section).


It was of the favorites of the band and has been performed live many times

Price: $19.95

Dwarf Steps - Todd Murphy
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Uncle Charles

Uncle Charles was written for Soundscape Big Band Jazz (São Paulo, Brazil) and is a medium up swing chart based on modified rhythm changes. The chart features an intro that has the bass instruments dueling it out early on. As the composer is a bass trombonist himself, he tends to give interesting and demanding lines to this instrument and “Uncle Charles is no exception”. On the high end, the trumpets can opt for an 8va Ab phrase if they are feeling brave that day (Listen to Jr. Galante on Soundscape´s recording to hear it well done)! The three soloists (trumpet and two tenors) constantly trade off solos between themselves and the bridge is always accompanied with an improvised second tenor solo (Uncle Charles in the case of SoundScape Big Band Jazz). All this along with wah wahs, plungers and Mingus like effects makes this chart fun and challenging.

Price: $19.95

Uncle Charles - Todd Murphy
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The Guru

The Guru was written for Soundscape Jazz Big Band and recorded in São Paulo, Brazil. It is a guitar feature honoring Djalma Lima who is an amazing guitarist and who had a crew cut at that time making him look like a guru!


It is based on Monk Changes, although not exactly the same (remembering: Well you Needn´t). It has some tempo changes and some ensemble passages. The changes are fun to blow over.

Price: $19.95

The Guru - Todd Murphy
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Novo Brasileiro

Novo Brasileiro was originally recorded on the CD - Todd Murphy and Bandazul (The recording that is posted here) which has 6 horns. It is a Brazilian style Bossa Nova and it has been expanded into Big Band format. There is some doubling in the sax section so you need 3 flutes (Alto 2, Tenor 2 and Bari). The flutes are in unison so you could do it with one although you would probable need a microphone to balance the whole band. There are two solos: Tenor Sax and Guitar. It is written in slow 2 instead of fast 4 which is the Brazilian tradition for Samba and Bossa Nova. A real crowd pleaser!

Price: $19.95

Novo Brasileiro - Todd Murphy
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