Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva

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“ Welcome to Tapsbugler! Helping provide Taps for Veterans at military funerals is important to us! Please contact us on information about providing a live bugler to sound Taps at the ceremony for your loved one. Just click on Find A Bugler below. Please explore the website and I hope you come away with a little more knowledge about this great American treasure we have in those 24 notes. ”

Celebrate 150 Years of Taps


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Jari Villanueva at Civil War event at ANC

On this site you will find much information on the bugle call Taps, the history of bugles, and the role of bugles and buglers throughout American history. There is a section on Taps Performance Guidelines for those who are interested in sounding Taps for funerals and ceremonies, and a section on Getting Started on the Bugle, for those who are new to this subject and looking for resources. You will also find personal stories of buglers and links to other Taps and bugle-related sites on the Internet.

We also have a store where you can purchase bugle related items CLICK HERE

Click on the Index tab above and you’ll get a listing of all the posts on Tapsbugler.

New information and photos will be posted from time to time, so I encourage you to bookmark this site and return periodically to check out any new material. And if you have bugle stories or photos you wish to share, please contact me at Jari Villanueva I have tried to correctly attribute information and cite the sources of the material posted here. If you believe there is any problem with the accuracy of the information on this site, please let me know and I will correct it as soon as possible. An excellent bibliography for my Taps research can be found at the end of my booklet, Twenty Four Notes That Tap Deep Emotions: The story of America’s most famous bugle call. You can read an excerpt of Twenty Four Notes here.

All the information on this site is copyrighted, all rights reserved. If you wish to use any of it, please contact me Jari Villanueva for permission, which I will usually grant. The bottom line is that it is important to me to get the correct information out about Taps and help enlighten people about the history of bugles in the United States. To this end I am willing to make this material available on the Internet.

If you also feel it is important to spread this information, you can help support my efforts in one of several ways:

One, you could send bugle-related material to me for inclusion on this site. Such material could be photographs,
letters, books or music.

Two, you could engage me to speak at your local Civil War Roundtable, library or community center. This is something I’ve done many times, visiting as far north as West Point, NY and as far west as Erie, PA.

Three, if you are interested in even more information than you will find here, please visit my sister website JV MUSIC, where you may purchase my booklet Twenty Four Notes That Tap Deep Emotions, along with CDs of Civil War music performed by The Federal City Brass Band and Helen Beedle; A Pictorial History of Civil War Era Musical Instruments & Military Bands, Mark Elrod’s fantastic book on Civil War brass instruments; 20 Bugle Calls of the US Armed Forces, a collection of the most commonly used modern bugle calls; and music I have arranged for brass ensemble, including many pieces from the Civil War era.

Four, you can make a donation (any amount, large or small) via PayPal. A portion of all donations made on Tapsbugler will go towards the Taps 150 event in 2012, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the origin of Taps. TAPS150 website

When I first developed an interest in the bugle and began my research I found that the manuals, books, and other published information on the subject were soon exhausted. Outside of encyclopedias and music dictionaries, there was not much written on the history or use of the bugle in the United States military. Oh sure, there were articles written on the subject (most dealing with the origin of Taps) but there was no one authority on the bugle. I have spent the past twenty years doing research and developing the material that is posted on this site and published in my booklet. My information on Taps has appeared in many newspapers across the country and on many websites. I have appeared in a History Channel segment about the origins of Taps and in many TV stories that pop up around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Now you need only to do a Google.com search with the words “Taps,” and “Jari,” and you get many hits that will lead to me.

Many historians have guided me along in my quest to uncover information on bugles. Three who come to mind, and to whom I owe a huge debt, are Jack Carter, Mark Elrod, and Randy Rach. There are many other collectors and historians to whom I have been much indebted for their expertise and advice. I have also gained much information from the many re-enactors who portray Civil War field musicians. It is through these living historians’ eyes that I’ve been able to understand how the bugle was used in battle, camp life, and ceremony during the Civil War. Thanks are in order to all the many buglers, both military and civilian, that have helped me with this and of course to the many historians with whom I have had the pleasure to work. I also want to thank my lovely wife and webmaster Heather Faust for all of her hard work, without which none of this could be possible.

I hope you enjoy this site and will come back and visit us again. Please contact me with your feedback and comments via email.

Mr. Jari Villanueva, Taps Historian, USAF (Ret)

Jari Villanueva retired from the United States Air Force where he spent 23 years with The USAF Band in Washington DC. He is considered the country’s foremost expert on military bugle calls, particularly the call of Taps which is sounded at military funerals. While in the Air Force he was the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of The USAF Band’s State Funeral Plans and was the NCOIC of the command post at Andrews AFB which oversaw the arrival and departure ceremonies for the late Presidents Reagan and Ford. As a ceremonial trumpeter, Villanueva participated in well over 5,000 ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, served as an assistant drum major leading The USAF Ceremonial Brass in funerals at Arlington. He was responsible for all the music performed by the USAF Bands for state funerals. Between 1998-2002 Villanueva created a display at Arlington National Cemetery highlighting the history of the military bugler. He was responsible for moving the bugle used at President John F. Kennedy’s funeral from the Smithsonian to Arlington where it is currently on display. In 2007 Villanueva was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame, the first active duty military bugler to be so honored

From 2008-2017  Villanueva worked for the Maryland Military Department, serving as the Director of Veterans Affairs, Maryland National Guard Honor Guard (MDNGHG). The mission of the MDNGHG is to provide Military Funeral Honors to Armed Forces Veterans in Maryland and performs over 3,500 ceremonies each year. He is also retired as a conductor/commander of the Maryland Defense Force Band and retired at the rank of Lt Colonel (MDDF) in the Maryland Military Department.

Villanueva’s military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with six oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Maryland¬†Distinguished Service Cross, the State of Maryland Meritorious Service Medal and the State of Maryland Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Villanueva is a graduate of the Baltimore Public School system and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1978 from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. In 1984 he received a Master of Music degree from Kent State University, Ohio. He is also a 2006 graduate of the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.

From 1998 to 2010, Villanueva was an adjunct professor in the Music Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he served as Director of Bands. A Civil War historian and re-enactor, Villanueva is Artistic Director of the National Association for Civil War Brass Music, Inc., where he directs and leads The Federal City Brass Band and the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band, recreated regimental bands of the Civil War era. He also sounds bugle calls at many re-enactments. In addition, he is music director for the National Civil War Field Music School where students learn to play fife, drum and bugle.

He is a member of the American Legion Post 109 in Arbutus, Maryland, the Air Force Musicians Association, the Maryland Historical Society, the Maryland Military Historical Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and an associate member of the Society of the Honor Guard  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He is married to Heather Faust and resides in Catonsville, Maryland.

Jari Villanueva

Leave a Reply

21 Responses to “About”

  1. Tapsbugler says:

    Please email me at jari@TapsBugler.com

  2. Richard Gasperini says:

    The West Point Society of Richmond (VA) will lay a wreath at the National Korean War Memorial in April or May 2020. We desire a burglar to play taps. Can we retain you for that purpose? If so, what will be your fee?

    The West Point Society of Richmond is the Richmond branch of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy.

    Thank you.

  3. Tapsbugler says:

    Thanks Please send me an email at jari@TapsBugler.com

  4. Denny Hart says:

    Your website hits the patriotic note spot on.
    I am a twenty-two year Army veteran. I am seeking permission to use your TAPS bugle call in a book I am writing about the Vietnam War. It would be used as part of a section about those lost during the Vietnam war. Full citation of your website would accompany a bugle icon for a link to your website. Thank you for consideration. Denny Hart 859.388.0299 soldiersanthology@outlook.com

  5. Robert Knepp says:

    From years ago I recall bugler music that I know as “Kansas”. Do you have any info on such a tune or know who might have?

  6. Robert Sprague says:

    JARI: Bob Sprague from the Brandywine Valley Civil War Round Table of West Chester, PA. A concern: Is there still a shortage of buglers to play Taps at Arlington? Is this a nation wide problem as well? Could local high school students, who are musicians, hel alleviate this problem? I await your response. THANK YOU –

  7. Tapsbugler says:

    I have been following this. I can’t speak as to an official military opinion but I do have my own TapsBugler thoughts about this.
    Bottom line is that if someone really wants to honor those in the military, learn to play the bugle and walk outside every evening at 7 or 8 and play Taps. It would be more meaningful and would probably have not caused as much angst in his community. To play it on a loudspeaker seems only to annoy.

  8. chris grothe says:

    is it appropriate for taps to be played by an ex-military member over a loudspeaker daily at 8pm to a town? or is the song just for certain occassions and by active military? wondering due to a controversy in glen rock PA, would love to hear what the official military opinion of this would be.

  9. Tapsbugler says:

    email us photos and we can evaluate…

  10. Steve Frice says:

    Randy, Great article THAKS. Taps is such an emtional piece !

    I have a question.I own a WW1 Bugle which was owned my my Father’s father. It is a Z Ephir made by Nil melior made in NY city. Patent Number not noted.

    What is the value of this instrument. It is in OK shape. Thanks for your anticipated response.

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