Guymon Ensley GEQ Jazz

BIO/DISCOG

Swingin' & Groovin' Harder Than Ever!

Guymon Ensley is an experienced musician with over forty years of playing trumpet professionally. He performs music of several genres, including playing solo & lead trumpet with jazz and rhythm & blues ensembles, wind ensembles and university and community orchestras.

A prolific composer, Guymon has published three albums and four single releases of his own compositions. He has also recorded and released a collection of recordings of his arrangements of the works of other noted bebop and classic jazz artists. Under his direction, his band has performed his music internationally and have received acclaim from worldwide audiences. 

Guymon continues to compose music, crossing genre lines with his newest solo project titled This Comes With It and his recent swingin', Big Band style single release with his band GEQ titled Nobody Knows I'm Here. Both projects received Consideration for Nomination in the 2015 and 2017 Grammys. 

"GEQ" (Guymon Ensley Quintet) is Guymon's celebrated jazz band that primarily  performs classic jazz and bebop. Each member is an accomplished musician and together, they total over 200 years of professional performance experience. With recording and performance backgrounds in multiple genres of music, GEQ brings to the stage a melding of music styles to each of their performances and recordings.

"I also write, record, and produce my solo projects that reflect my love for contemporary jazz and R&B. Click on the Music Page and listen to the clips or buy any of my tracks or albums on the drop down list right on this site. Better yet, check out everything all at once on my CD Baby Guymon Ensley & GEQ Artist Pages. Then feel free to contact me with any comments, suggestions and for more information on booking opportunities."  

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My musical journey began with me performing, composing and recording R&B songs with local artists and bands. Armed with experience and formal training, I decided to pursue my first love ... JAZZ!

In the Pursuit of Jazz

Along the way, numerous referrals led me to one of the most renowned musicians, educators and mentors in the jazz world, Sam Sanders. Under him, I took on the challenge of improvisation. After many hours of rehearsals, repetition and concentration, I began to compose music that complemented my newly developed style.

Classic Jazz, yes that American art form that was born in New Orleans and nurtured in several great cities in the country, yes, that jazz ... it's what "GEQ" Guymon Ensley Quintet 'swings' with. The band was formed in 2001 and was soon earning rave reviews in 2002 at the renowned Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. 

First Album & More Performances                                                                                  

GEQ continued to enjoy success with the release of our first album, Here Put This On in 2003 which was re-released in 2009 with two bonus tracks added. With the album gaining hype, my band and I continued performing at the most of the prestigious venues in Michigan. In the summer of 2014, we completed  our eighth tour to the Hawaiian and Caribbean Islands. 

The Songs

GEQ's performance repertoire includes many of my own original songs. I write numbers that emphasize the strengths of my bands players, making the music sound complex despite being relatively easy to perform. The ideas come pretty easy when it comes to these gentlemen and ladies because each of these phenomenal musicians can take a lead sheet and read it down quickly and put their own incredible spin on it. I've been known to spring a brand new chart on them right on the band stand too!

Even though GEQ is known for the original compositions, I like to play arrangements of the standards. A rock beat at the beginning of the Theolonious Monk's "Well You Needn't" ... a piano interlude right in the middle of Miles Davis' "Milestones," or a latin style rhythm on Charlie Parker's "Ornithology."

Critical Acclaim

My band and I have been respectfully compared to the likes of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as well as the ensembles of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. In 2006 and 2007, GEQ was even nominated for Outstanding Modern Jazz Group at the Detroit Music Awards, furthermore, I was nominated for the Outstanding Jazz Composer category.

Solo Projects

Also in 2006, I released and Extended Play CD as a solo project. This record, titled Meet Guymon Ensley contains three original songs, along with an intriguing arrangement of Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands." The contemporary jazz works was my first outside of the classic jazz genre. Three more singles followed this EP, including a swinging version of The Christmas Song. Another single release was, Key Of Gee which was popular among the 'steppin' crowd. The third single, Where Am I Going With You  is an engaging ballad that features my first vocal performance.

Latest Work

On August 14, 2014, I released my third and latest project to date. This Comes With It is an eclectic collection of my contemporary jazz and R&B compositions. The EP features performances by a number of noted musicians in southeastern Michigan. It also showcases the debut of a new background vocal group, as well as the newly formed 'Hoggy Horn Section. In May of 2016, I release Nobody Knows I'm Here, an original tune that the band had been performing for several years, but we recorded the number "Big Band" style.

A Dream Fulfilled

All this led to the career that I enjoy today. Right now, I am in the studio writing and recording my fourth CD as well as music for local Spoken Word artists. I look forward to releasing a special project by Anita Powell in the fall of this year. So stay tuned for news on the album's progress.

   D I S C O G R A P H Y 

2017 - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" Guymon Ensley & GEQ (single release; swingin' arrangement of an English Christmas carol) 

2017 - "B4U Dip B Sure" - Anita Caprice (single release; spoken word & funk)

2016 - "Nobody Knows I'm Here" - Guymon Ensley & GEQ (single release; modern big band instrumental)

2014 - "This Comes With It" - Guymon Ensley (extended play release featuring original contemporary jazz and  rhythm & blues works)

2011 - "Key Of Gee" - Guymon Ensley - (single release; contemporary jazz instrumental)

2010 - "The Christmas Song" - Guymon Ensley arrangement - (single release; contemporary jazz vocal featuring Sandra Bomar)                                                                                    

2010 - "Where Am I Going With You" - Guymon Ensley - (single release; contemporary jazz vocal)           

2009 - "Here Put This On" - Guymon Ensley & GEQ - (RE-RELEASE full release featuring arrangements of originals and standards: plus two BONUS tracks) 

2006 - "Meet Guymon Ensley" - Guymon Ensley - (extended play release featuring original Rhythm & Blues works)

2003 - "Here Put This On" - Guymon Ensley & GEQ - (full release featuring arrangements of jazz standards and original pieces)