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Dallas Cowboys National Anthem Trumpeter, Freddie Jones: A Decade of Musical Excellence

by Madonna

Memphis-born jazz trumpeter Freddie Jones has been gracing the Dallas Cowboys’ games with his musical talents as their National Anthem performer for the past decade. While not every one of his appearances is televised due to broadcast stipulations, his signature navy blue trumpet and performances have become a fixture for die-hard Cowboys fans.

In a delightful twist, Freddie Jones is the author’s elder brother, adding a personal touch to this fascinating story. Witnessing him on screen has undoubtedly been a source of pride for their parents and has more than compensated for the hours of practice endured during his journey to master the trumpet.

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A charming anecdote from their shared past involves the hit song “Sing A Simple Song” by Sly and the Family Stone. The author recalls hearing it for the first time after numerous basement rehearsals by Freddie and his band, Featherstone. In a youthful burst of excitement, the author proudly proclaimed that “we” had a hit record, only to be gently corrected at school the next day.

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Like many talented musicians in Memphis, Freddie had to leave his hometown after Stax Records closed its doors. Featherstone, his band, had made waves on the city’s combo scene but were still far from achieving their own hit records. He eventually relocated to Dallas, where he got married, became a music teacher, and established himself as a respected jazz musician and band leader.

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The opportunity to perform for the Cowboys came through the local musician’s union, and he has held the role ever since. Reflecting on his initial thoughts when auditioning for the gig, Freddie humorously recalled, “I didn’t think I would get the gig first of all. I was in there laughing, thinking, wow, I’m the only brother here.”

Decades of performing on stage had prepared him for that crucial first appearance at the stadium. “I’m playing to a lot of people, and I’m trying not to be aware of that; I’m trying to be aware of playing the music,” he shared in an interview with a sports reporter from CBS’s Dallas affiliate. His routine involves arriving at the stadium two hours before the sound check and then relaxing until the game’s start, allowing him to focus on the music.

Freddie’s role with the Cowboys has opened doors to other exciting gigs, including performing at the classic car hallmark Mecum Auctions multiple times. However, his most significant achievement has been the establishment of Trumpets4Kids.com, a non-profit organization aimed at sharing his musical gift with future generations. Recipients of free trumpets are required to commit to practicing for a minimum of one hour per day—an endeavor that brings joy to Freddie’s heart.

Reflecting on one memorable experience, Freddie shared, “We took a group of kids and were allowed to take them on the field. Me, the kids, and my handler for the team at that time. We’re the only ones that have been allowed to do that.”

Freddie Jones has even had the privilege of meeting Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, adding, “I had met him before I got hired. He had come to a club I was playing in Dallas, Terrilli’s Restaurant. The guy I replaced was playing at Greenville Nightclub right next door. Tommy Loy. It’s really hip to be walking in his shoes.”

Freddie’s journey from Memphis to Dallas has not only enriched his musical career but has also allowed him to inspire future generations through his non-profit work. His performances with the Cowboys continue to bring joy to fans and serve as a testament to the power of music to connect people from all walks of life.

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