Don Cagen Bio

Don Cagen

Don Cagen

Trumpeter, conductor and electronic wind synthesist Don Cagen is co-founder of the nationally prominent special events music production company, Cagen Music LLC. As co-bandleader of the Don Cagen Orchestra, Don has entertained notables from the President of the United States to the Duchess of York. Modern Bride magazine recognizes his band as among “the hottest in the nation.”

His resume includes performances for the Lincoln Park Zoo Ball, the Presentation Ball, The Children in Crisis Gala, and the Inaugural Ball of President Barack Obama. Noted as trendsetters and experts, his band has been featured on CNN, FOX National, MSNBC, CBS2 Chicago, WGN-TV and NBC5 Chicago, and in articles in the Associated Press, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

Cagen prides himself on producing customized performances for each client’s distinct needs. The combination of over 25 years of experience and Don’s instinctive ability to read the crowd create the events that everyone raves about for years to come.


Don is also expert in electronic music, sound system design, and acoustics. He performs on the highly expressive EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), and lectures at Columbia College in the field of Audio Arts and Acoustics.

In addition to his work in the rock and contemporary music fields, Don performed as a soloist with jazz legend Dave Brubeck. Don has been principal trumpet of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and has performed as solo cornetist with the Chicago Brass Band.

In 2010, Don appeared as concerto soloist with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, he was a soloist in a world premier with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

Cagen began his trumpet studies at age ten. As a senior at Niles West High School, he was chosen as first-chair trumpet for the Illinois All-State band. While attending the Northwestern University School of Music, Don studied trumpet with legendary teachers Vincent Cichowicz and Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony, and conducting with John Paynter and Don Owens. Don also studied trumpet for two years with Philip Smith of New York Philharmonic, and recently performed at master classes with James Thompson, Jens Lindemann, and the Summit Brass.