“I’ve always wanted to come back home and try to make a difference. I’m not one of those people that believe that you just leave home, and you forget about it, and you never come back and try to help. So I decided that this is a perfect opportunity to come back and try to make a difference in my community.”
How has your background influenced your music?
“I started playing and performing music in the church. My third album is basically a tribute to my upbringing, which is called Roots, so it’s heavily influenced by gospel.”
Why did you choose the trumpet?
“I found out that my grandfather played the bugle in the Civil War, so I took the
trumpet home, and I realized why nobody else played it — it’s extremely difficult. There’s only three buttons.”
What’s one goal you have for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra?
“We want to collaborate with other arts organizations. We want to collaborate with dance ensembles; we want to collaborate with gospel choirs. One collaboration that we’re working on is with Dancing Wheels, and that’s something that we’re probably going to do in May 2010.”
What’s coming up for the orchestra?
“We’re doing a love songs concert; that’s one thing that everybody can understand, and it’s right before Valentine’s Day [Feb. 13 at the Hanna Theatre], so it’s the perfect reason to go out and celebrate with the person you love.”
12:00 AM EST
December 16, 2009