J. R. Guernsey (full name, John Roth Guernsey)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Arranger
A native of Ashtabula, Ohio, JR was a professional musician from the age of 14 when he started playing in local professional bands and orchestras in the northeast Ohio area from 1996-2000. He then attended and graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York in 2004 and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation as well as earning his Unlimited Tonnage 3rd Mates Merchant Marine License as a Deck Officer. While at the Academy JR was the Principal Trumpet of the regimental band “George M. Cohan’s Own” as well as Captain of the Fanfare Trumpet Line, and President of the Mariners Chorus, as well as freelancing as a professional player for hire in the Long Island and NYC metropolitan area. During this time, he shared the stage with many high-profile Musicians including Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, Daniel Rodriguez and Natalie Cole. Upon receiving his commission as a Naval Officer, he reported to San Diego for his first duty station aboard USS Pinckney DDG 91. His next tour of duty was onboard USS Kitty Hawk CV63, stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
After completing 4 years on active duty, JR went into the reserves and began studying music at San Diego Mesa College and received his Associate In Arts in Music and Basic Musicianship in 2012 while maintaining an active reserve career rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserve in June of 2014.
Since 2010 JR has been freelancing as a professional musician in many groups throughout San Diego and has been the Principal Trumpet/Soloist with the Filarmonia Uniao Portuguesa De San Diego since 2012. Also, a music educator he was the Brass Coach at Ramona High School from 2011-2017 and served as Musical advisor for the Marshall Middle School production of The Wizard of Oz in 2015. He is well sought after as a private music instructor all over San Diego County for lessons on Trumpet, French Horn, Piano, Singing, Arranging, Song Writing and stage production. An award-winning Producer, Arranger and Recording artist credited with the Best World Music album of 2018 from the San Diego Music Awards.