Jim Hacker was a beloved faculty member from 1996 until his death in 2023.
He served as teaching professor of trumpet and director of the University Brass Choir and the FIU Jazz Studio Big Band. During his time at FIU, he also periodically served as area coordinator for both the Wind, Brass & Percussion Studios and Jazz Performance Program.
He was a passionate and dedicated teacher who inspired his students to pursue excellence in their musical careers.
Jim was also an accomplished musician who had a busy career as a trumpet player. He performed with a wide range of artists from Frank Sinatra to Madonna, and his talents and versatility allowed him to travel the world and perform in countless concerts and tours.
Since coming to Miami in 1986, he has been a regular performer with the Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, Florida Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, Seraphic Fire, Miami Chamber Symphony, Miami Symphony, Palm Beach Symphony, Orchestra Miami, Palm Beach Pops, Miami Bach Society, and others. He held positions with Boca Symphonia and Atlantic Classical Orchestra and was a founding member of the Miami Brass Consort and the Florida Trumpet Quartet. Prior to joining the FIU faculty in 1996, he taught at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus for 5 years.
Jim’s impact on the music community in South Florida was immeasurable. He was highly respected and admired by his colleagues, and his loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him. James was not just a phenomenal musician, but also a kind and caring soul. He always had time for his students and colleagues, offering humor and encouragement whenever it was needed. His warm smile and infectious enthusiasm will be forever etched in our memories.