At the pinnacle of his guitar career in 2012, a local musician who goes by “Trumpet Monk” realized how deeply unhappy he was.
He put down his guitar, intending never to play music again.
But Trumpet Monk said his outlook changed in 2022 with the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war.
He said he was watching the news when he saw an interview with a jazz musician, who was playing very close to the Russia-Ukraine border just prior to the invasion. The musician said she was not scared of the war because she was so immersed in her music.
“It was the spark that reignited my flame,” he said. “I grabbed the trumpet, and I can’t put it down.”
Publicly, he also goes by his first name, Chris.
During his guitar career, he traveled around the world 10 times, performing in cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
After learning how to play the trumpet, Chris said he felt called to remain in Chapel Hill rather than return overseas because of his sentimental connection to the area.
“I want to give back to UNC,” he said. “We all gain so much from our time here, and we’re all blessed to be here.”