Frank Lacy

Frank Lacy (born August 9, 1958, Houston, Texas) is an American jazz trombonist who has spent many years as a member of the Mingus Big Band.

Frank Lacy
Also known asKu-umba Frank Lacy
Born (1958-08-09) August 9, 1958
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, vocalist
InstrumentsTrombone, multi-instrumentalist
Years active1970–present
Associated actsMingus Big Band


Lacy's father was a teacher who played guitar with Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, and Eddie Cleanhead Vinson. His mother was a gospel singer.[1] When Lacy was eight, he started learning piano. In his teens, he played trumpet, tuba, and euphonium before switching to trombone.[2] He got a degree in physics from Texas Southern University. In 1979, he went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying trombone and composition. His classmates included Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, and Marvin Smith.[1][3]

Lacy moved to New York City in 1981. In 1986, he played with Illinois Jacquet's big band, and a couple years later he was musical director for Art Blakey. He released his first album as a band leader in 1991 with his father on guitar.[3] He has also worked with Lester Bowie, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Formanek, Slide Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Rufus Reid, Henry Threadgill, Steve Turre, McCoy Tyner, and Bobby Watson. He has spent over twenty years as a member of the Mingus Big Band.[4]


As leader

  • Tonal Weights and Blue Fire (Tutu, 1990)
  • Settegast Strut (Tutu, 1995)
  • Songs from the Musical Poker (Tutu, 1996)
  • Heaven Sent, with Mauro Ottolini (Musica, 2013)
  • That Which is Planted, with 10³²K (Passin' Thru, 2013)
  • Live at Smalls (Smalls Live, 2014)
  • Mingus Sings (Sunnyside, 2015)

As sideman

With Mingus Big Band

  • Nostalgia in Times Square (Dreyfus, 1993)
  • Live in Time (Dreyfus, 1996)
  • Que Viva Mingus (Dreyfus, 1997)
  • Tonight at Noon (2002)
  • I Am Three (2005)
  • Live in Tokyo at the Blue Note (2006)

With Lester Bowie

  • Avant Pop (ECM, 1986)
  • Twilight Dreams (1987)
  • Serious Fun (DIW, 1989)
  • My Way (DIW, 1990)
  • The Fire This Time (1992)

With Roy Hargrove

  • Approaching Standards (Novus, 1994)
  • Habana (Verve, 1997)

With David Murray

With McCoy Tyner

  • Journey (Verve, 1993)
  • The Turning Point (Verve, 1992)

With others


  1. Kelsey, Chris. "Frank Lacy | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  2. Jung, Fred. "A Fireside Chat with Ku-umba Frank Lacy". Jazz Weekly. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  3. Corbett, John (April 1998). "The Baddest Sideman in Jazz". Down Beat. Elmhurst, IL.
  4. West, Michael J. (9 November 2014). "Overdue Ovation: Frank Lacy - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  5. "Frank Lacy | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
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