Keith Karns is an Alaskan born trumpet player, composer and bandleader. Based in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Keith is regularly engaged in various jazz and commercial engagement in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas. Keith's quintet and big band are features in the Dallas jazz scene and perform regularly across the country. Keith is an ASCAP and Downbeat award winning composer and has composed and arranged music for professional and collegiate groups across the country. Many of Keith's compositions for Jazz Ensemble are available through RGM INC as well as on this website.  Keith has performed and/or recorded with Benny Golson, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold, and the UNT One O'clock Lab Band. Keith holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and Indiana University. Keith is a student of John Harbaugh, Robert Baca, Rich DeRosa and David Baker. Keith has also studied with Bill Adam, Pat Harbison, Joey Tartell, Jay Saunders and Mike Steinel. Keith is a Torpedo Bag performing artist and uses Torpedo Bags exclusively to transport and protect all of his trumpets. Keith is currently a doctoral candidate in the division of jazz studies at the University of North Texas.


Gainsville Swing Orchestra: Christmas Concert!

Gainsville, TX


In10city Private Party



North Texas Medical Center New Years Eve Party! Featuring the Gainsville Swing Orchestra

North Texas Medical Center


The Trumpet Feature: Rethinking Artistry in Modern Orchestral Jazz

Louisville, KY

A presentation of original research on modern composition for big band. Featuring analysis of music by Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck, and Bob Brookmeyer.


"An Impressive Debut...."

-Scott Yanow
Read the entire review by jazz critic and scholar, Scott Yanow.

"...an outstanding trumpet player...his composing and arranging sets him apart as demonstrated on the splendid debut CD 'Thought and Memory'."
-Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis Star Tribune.



Join the mailing list to get the low down on up and coming dates and projects!