Luis Ozoria

(MM ‘23, jazz studies)

Trumpeter, Educator, Composer

Luis Ozoria is a trumpeter, composer, and educator in Baltimore, Maryland. At the Peabody Institute, he was the first graduate to complete an M.M in jazz studies under Sean Jones. Soon after, Ozoria was hired as the Engagement and Instruction Librarian for the Peabody Institute’s Arthur Friedheim Library. Beyond academia, Luis’s musical versatility ranges from work with commercial bands down to brass quintets. Committed to nurturing talent, Luis shares his passion through education and is on faculty for Peabody’s Preparatory division.

Tell us about your journey to your current career path. What were the pivotal moments? What surprised you?

I picked the trumpet in 4th grade because it had 3 buttons. With my 10-year-old logic, I figured that meant it only had 3 notes and would be easy! I was clearly wrong, but I fell in love with the challenge of music and enjoyed how I could witness my effort translate to results. I always knew I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t necessarily sure how. I was not big on formal classroom education and felt that music was an opportunity to get creative. After attending Peabody, I realized I wanted to enter academia as a musician who could support student musicians that don’t gel with formal education either.

What opportunities did you take advantage of in school that helped you to build helpful skills and experiences?

I made an effort to connect with my faculty. Creating closer bonds than seeing them once or twice a week gave me a more honest depiction of their lifestyles, passions, work outside Peabody. That helps me learn how to pursue a career in the direction that I admired from theirs. Additionally, faculty gave me numerous opportunities to take on tasks that I had not yet encountered or might meet with resistance and shy away from. They ripped off band-aids for me in a sense.

How has your network and/or community impacted your professional journey?

The saying, “You are the company you keep,” really holds true. I surround myself with a community of people that are like-minded and career driven. This pushes me on my instrument and in my career more than I could imagine. Being surrounded by high-caliber musicians in the community creates new visions of my career and advances my aspirations as well as awareness to what is possible. Surrounding myself with great musicians within Peabody forces me to work harder and progress beyond any personal resistance.

Who has been an influential mentor for you and why?

Fran Vielma has been one on my most influential mentors for numerous reasons. First, he took me under his wing in creating his own big band in D.C. This project opened my eyes to how logistics work and the process of getting a gig. I have befriended world-class musicians in the DMV, worked with management teams at venues, and witnessed how to plan a long-term vision for aspiring projects. I also was able to see (and commit) failures firsthand and learn that projects are not linear progressions of success. It taught me a great deal about patience for an artistic vision.

Have your goals and priorities changed over time? If so, how?

I believe our goals and priorities constantly evolve. Initially, my goal was to prove I could carve out a career in music. This goal evolved into a desire to show others from my background that despite the odds, it’s possible to succeed; I am a testimony to possibility. Now, my top priority is to enjoy the freedom and perfection of music as it is. I aim to experience music at the highest level and connect with humanity through it. I also strive to advance in academia and mentor others, encouraging them to find value within themselves rather than seeking external validation in music.


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