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Personality Test: Trumpeter James Moore |

Personality Test: Trumpeter James Moore

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
| Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:00 a.m

James Moore says he is “a ‘Burgh guy and I love it.”

Jazz fans in this area would not be surprised to hear that. He and his trumpet are regular parts of jazz life here, whether with Roger Humphries’ RH Factor or the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.

But some folks don’t realize those gigs are being made after several hours on Interstate 79. Moore, 31, teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, but has found the music scene here means so much he is more than willing to spend time on the road to be part of it.

He performs some in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., but is pleased to concentrate on playing here.

Moore grew up in Morgantown and went to West Virginia University before getting his master’s at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh’s jazz studies program.

He is married to Gretchen Moore, a member of the Dance Alloy.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Ron Livingston (from “Office Space”). My wife tells me I look like him.

Childhood hero and why:

Honestly• My father. He was a federal mine safety inspector for 17 years. I knew what he did saved lives. Then, when I was 12, it became Miles Davis.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had.

I had a really great “Ghostbusters” car.

The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:

Flying — I get really sick of driving back and forth between Pittsburgh and central West Virginia!

I can’t live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR, or laptop?

Laptop — I’m using it to type these answers!

My favorite reality show:


App I wish I could invent:

High note app — it’d be nice to use it at the end of a four-hour gig with Roger Humphries when my chops are dead!

Favorite brunch food:

Waffles with turkey dressing after Thanksgiving

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Pizza rolls

Best mistake I’ve ever made:

Not playing the saxophone in 5th grade.

Something I would do over if I could and why

College — I would’ve practiced more!

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

B. Hockey is the only sport I really care about.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Mario Lemieux. I was at his return from retirement game in December 2000 and cried when he touched the puck in warmups.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

In my office at West Virginia Wesleyan College with the window open, looking across campus through the trees outside my window.

Top thing on my “Bucket List” to do before I’m gone:

See Paris again.

In five years, I’d like to:

Still be working with the greatest students and musicians in the world.

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

Playing music with my heroes and friends. So, in short, the jazz community.

Star I’d like to dance with on “Dancing with the Stars”:

I married a dancer so I don’t have to dance …

Three people I’d love to have dinner with:

Hank Mobley, Pepper Adams, John F. Kennedy

My quirkiest inherited trait:

Being a history nerd

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Pastrami from Primanti’s

One word my mother would use to describe me:

Brat (with love, of course, and slightly edited for readability)

Celebrity crush:

Rene Russo

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

A 2-year-old can of Bud Light

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A doctor AND a lawyer. You can imagine how popular I was with the guys at the ball field.

Exercise I hate most:


I’m deathly afraid of:


If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

“If You Could See Me Now”, or maybe “Who Can I Turn To.” Those are both too hip for the room, huh?

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Believe it or not, the Balcony Big Band when I was 13.

The best concert I’ve ever seen:

Concert is really the wrong word. I heard Jimmy Cobb play solo drums at a workshop in Philadelphia in 2005 and it was one of the deepest moments of my life.

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

“Burn Notice”

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark.

Mt. Washington

Saturday mornings you’ll find me:

Probably in the car on the way to WV Wesleyan or Pittsburgh

Best new gadget I’ve tried recently.

A mouthpiece buzzing gadget — really trumpet nerdy I know.

The worst advice I ever received:

Play the trumpet instead of the saxophone. Wow, I really should’ve gotten a second opinion on that one!

In high school, I was:

In the band room practicing when I should have been in math class.

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Joe Magnarelli

The movie that always makes me cry:

” ‘Round Midnight”

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

My Bostonian dress shoes.

What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:


My most embarrassing junk food:

See guilty pleasures (Pizza rolls)

If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be:

A lot wealthier

The last book I read:

“From Russia with Love” by Ian Fleming

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:


Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

“Oceans 13”

My favorite Web site:


My most memorable fashion mistake:

The 10th grade

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

George Clooney or Brad Pitt — ‘cuz why not?

My childhood nickname was:


My favorite “bad” movie is:

“Kung Pow: Enter the Fist”

My first job:

Working for Morgantown Excavators doing odd jobs

My worst job:

Played a gig in New Jersey with a cover band, and the band leader threw a beer bottle at me.

My favorite cable channel:

Comedy Central

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

Nope, you can’t pay me to dance.

Life would be better without:

“American Idol”

If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Mike Ledonne or Eric Alexander

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that I:

Am from West Virginia and really don’t care about WVU sports. Go Pitt!

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