John Culbreth


16 Reviews (9 Verified)
John Culbreth on SoundBetter

Past horn work: The Temptations, Vance Joy, Big Freedia, Griz, The Revivalists, Tank and the Bangas, Galactic, Delfeayo Marsalis, Es-K, K.Sparks, Naughty Professor and more.

Have the privilege of playing trumpet every day in my studio based in New Orleans!

I own a high quality recording chain and have a horn section I can call upon to incorporate more horns. Will write and record anything from huge funk section parts to chilled out solos. Always aim to best serve the song!!

I started out as a trumpet player for Naughty Professor, a New Orleans instrumental collective. Since then, I've begun working as a studio session player and have recorded on close to 100 tracks!! (hard to believe it's been that many!)

I've had the the opportunity to tour internationally as a trumpet player and have had the immense pleasure of performing live in front of hundreds of thousands of people over the last decade.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.


Discogs verified credits for John Culbreth
  • Es-K, Danny James* & John Culbreth
  • Gravy (24)
  • Various
  • Ryan Montbleau
  • The Afghan Whigs
  • Naughty Professor
  • Galactic
  • Naughty Professor
  • Delfeayo Marsalis Presents The Uptown Jazz Orchestra
  • Naughty Professor
  • Afghan Whigs*
  • Tauk
  • Rickie Lee Jones
  • Alex Ebert
  • PJ Morton
  • Abby Bryant & The Echoes
  • The Temptations
  • Marc Stone (2)
  • The Temptations
  • The Afghan Whigs

16 Reviews

Endorse John Culbreth
  1. Review by Jason L.

    John was extremely patient to work with. He also delivered some very well recorded trumpet stems. Highly recommend.

  2. Review by Caleb Schoberg

    John is an excellent musician, performer, and arrangers! i couldn’t be more happy with his work and communication.

  3. Review by Seppl
    by Seppl

    Amazing performance of John on my track. He was super quick with recording, has a marvelous trumpet and flugel sound, and gave a couple of great options for me to use!

  4. Review by Charlie W.

    super quick and professional!

  5. Review by Alec Ferguson

    John was awesome to work with! I just told him a basic idea of the sound I wanted and he was able to take it from there and kill it. Exceeded my expectations. He really hooked it up. Would highly recommend and will use again

  6. Review by Tim C.
    by Tim C.

    Great experience working with John - I gavehim a rough idea of what I was after and his work surpassed all expectations. Can’t recommend highly enough!

  7. Review by Chris M. Gordon

    John Culbreath is a pro! Excellent trumpet playing and great professional attitude and skill. Highly recommend!

  8. Review by Joe Marson

    John was super responsive and his playing/parts are inspired. Def recommend and will be working with him again.

  9. Review by Andrew B.

    John is the man! He wrote, arranged, and played some incredible horn parts that really brought our production to life. Highly recommended!

  10. Review by Nick Ellman

    John is a top-notch trumpet player, arranger and producer. Expect tasteful lines and excellent execution. My first call for trumpet- I highly recommend!

  11. Review by Daniel O.

    John is an incredible player and a joy to work with. I was really happy with out quickly he adapted to a genre that he had otherwise not been used to working with. I wouldn't hesitate to reach out again for my trumpet needs!

  12. Review by Bill D.

    John is a fantastic trumpet player and producer. A great songwriter/composer and a diligent worker. John excels in horn world from writing to performing.

  13. Review by Bassy Bob

    This is an update to my other review of John. He's a highly organized and gifted composer, producer, and horn arranger. His playing is precise and he has a keen producer's ear for just what the track needs , nothing more. Highly recommended.

  14. Review by Bassy bob Brockmann
    by Bassy bob Brockmann

    John is a sick horn player and great arranger. We've worked on numerous records together. He has a clear understanding of history and context but also can be super modern and precise. He also has a great sample collection John is the best.

  15. Review by Noah Young

    I recently hired John to record horns on a song for my band Slugger. Not only was he incredibly professional with a turnaround time of just a few days, but he also completely exceeded our expectations! He was able to get a huge section sound, and now our song sounds like it has the Earth Wind & Fire horns on it! The icing on the cake was the harmon mute passages he added, really creative!

  16. Review by Aalap D.

    John is an amazing musician ! The horn section in the song we worked on came to life after he added his recorded parts on horns to the same. John also added an improvised solo to the interlude that just blew my mind ! He is super responsive and has a great turnaround time ! I highly recommend John and hope to work again in the future with him !

Interview with John Culbreth

  1. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  2. A: My setup is a Royer R-121 into an Apollo Twin which I run through either Logic or Ableton. Additionally I have access to fantastic studios in New Orleans to record a full horn section as a group.

  3. Q: How would you describe your style?

  4. A: As a soloist, I use a lot of Miles Davis-isms and Roy Hargrove lines. As a section player and arranger, I try to write singable lines which I then use jazz-influenced harmony to make as expressive as the moment calls for.

  5. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  6. A: I'd love to work more with PJ Morton, because he writes beautiful songs and uses really lush arrangements.

  7. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  8. A: When recording brass (especially trumpet), the distance between the bell and the mic and the angle of the bell in relation to the mic affect the sound more than ANYTHING, including what type of mic you're using.

  9. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  10. A: I often work on R&B, Hip Hop, EDM, and Rock. Very different from each other, but these genres share the quality that horns and strings make them sound good!

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: Pinpointing the focus of a song and hearing ways to support and bolster it without getting in the way.

  13. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  14. A: I can provide reinforcement to the energy of a song.

  15. Q: What's your typical work process?

  16. A: First I'll listen to the song and read any notes/instructions provided. When arranging the parts, I'll start by writing the main horn melody by looping each section in my DAW and recording the ideas that come. After getting the ideas on the table and getting familiar with the arc of the song and determining the best way to accentuate the arrangement, I'll record each part, sometimes doubling it, and then add harmonies when appropriate. Usually at the end of each song I'll leave a little solo.

  17. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  18. A: Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Earth Wind and Fire, Daptones, and James Brown all heavily influence and inform my sound and choices in the studio.

  19. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  20. A: I mainly arrange and record horn sections and compose/produce based on spec. We've worked with a wide range of genres including edm, funk, jazz, and rock.

Naughty Professor, Rush Hour

I was the Composer, Trumpet Player in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Roy Hargrove
  • Miles Davis
  • Earth
  • Wind & Fire
  • Wind & Fire
Gear Highlights
  • Royer R-121
  • Apollo Twin
More Photos
  • Just dropped my Vibey Harmon Mute Sample Pack Vol.1!Mar 03, 2021

    I've been hearing from beatmakers that there's a need for some genuine harmon mute samples. So, I made a pack! 

    Grab it on my website! Vibey Harmon Mute Sample Pack

  • Just got my Royer R 121 and it sounds AMAZINGAug 19, 2020

    Hey all, 

    I always get excited when I get a new piece of gear, but I've wanted a top of the line ribbon mic for a while and I finally ordered one, and now it's here. And wow. 

    There are a lot of good ways to mic a horn, but I really love the ribbons and the warm way they pick up overtones. I can get a beautiful direct sound or step back for a roomier sound. V stoked