Edwin Imer Santiago, a Lorain, Ohio native, first began playing trumpet in the 5th grade in the Lorain City Schools District. After high school, Imer attended The Ohio State University, where he earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Jazz Studies (June 1999) & Atmospheric Sciences (June 2000). At OSU, Imer studied under several great teachers, including trumpet master, Pharez Whitted, & Jazz Studies Chair, Dr. Ted McDaniel. He then moved to “The Crescent City” and continued his education at The University of New Orleans, where he studied under the late trumpeter Clyde Kerr, Jr., Preservation Hall’s Wendell Brunious, and renowned pianist & educator, Ellis Marsalis. Santiago concluded his graduate program with an independent study of the music of Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines (under Marsalis), and received his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies in December 2000.
Since his college days, Imer has had the opportunity to tour, perform, and record with various artists, such as Salvador, Jaci Velasquez, Kirk Franklin, TobyMac, & Group One Crew. Santiago, who is quadralingual (English, Spanish, French, & Portuguese), feels equally at home stylistically, whether performing Jazz, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Merengue, Funk, Gospel, or even Orchestral literature.
Imer currently lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife, Laisa, and his son, Keegan. He is a tenured band director in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District (Moses McKissack Middle School), an adjunct trumpet professor (Tennessee State University), is a sought after studio musician, clinician, band leader (El Movimient, Imer Santiago Quintet), in-demand side man, and worship pastor at The Church at Antioch, a dynamic, multi-ethnic congregation in Metropolitan Nashville.
Some of Imer’s career highlights include having original compositions performed at Urbana 2006 & 2009 (North America’s largest Missions convention), performing on the 2009 & 2010 Dove Awards, releasing The Movement (El Movimiento’s debut album, March 2010), being selected as the Tennessee Lottery/NewsChannel 2 Educator of the Week (March 2011), receiving the 2012 Edwina Hefner Award (Jan. 2012), and being featured as a guest artist at The University of New Orleans’ “Jazz at The Sandbar Series” (March 2012) and OSU’s 35th Jazz Festival (April 2012). Imer is an artist for Jupiter XO trumpets/flugelhorns, and performed at the 2013 Jazz Educator Network (JEN) Conference (January) in Atlanta, GA. He was recently voted “Teacher of The Year” at McKissack Middle School and is preparing to release his debut Jazz album (produced by fellow ELMO Bandleader & saxophonist, Rahsaan Barber) on the Jazz Music City Record Label in Summer 2013.