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I Only Have Eyes For You, Jumaane Smith’s debut album featuring Naturally 7 and Michael Bublé is available now on iTunes, in our Music Store, and at Michael Bublé concerts worldwide.

 

Recently I had the great honor to be a part of a fabulous performance with Quincy Jones and his Global Gumbo All-Stars.The concert was a montage spanning Quincy’s more than sixty years in the biz. I first met Mr. Jones in 2001 at the Academy of Achievement summit in Dublin, Ireland. Since that time I’ve been fortunate to be in his presence an learn from his experience several times.

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DOWNBEAT JAZZ MAGAZINE

25 For The Future – A New Generation of Trumpeters Pave the Way for Jazz’s Next Innovations
Trumpeters featured in this section include: Maurice Brown, AvishaiCohen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gilbert Castellanos, Christian Scott, Matt Shulman, Jumaane Smith…..

Edmonton Journal
Kudos have to be given to Buble for not over-emoting on Georgia, a song that often brings out the worst in singers. He played it straight, even let trumpet player Jumaane Smith take over the spotlight on a fiery solo. That was probably the last serious highlight

BY TOM MURRAY, AUGUST 9, 2011

The Sacramento Bee
Among the evening’s highlights were Georgia with an excellent trumpet solo by Jumaane Smith August 26,2010

The Virginian-Pilot
Some of the best moments came when Buble’s Big Boy Band took over, especially some Maynard Ferguson -inspired trumpet work by Jumaane Smith .
July 8, 2010

Sun-Sentinel – Mar 13, 2010
A tender “Georgia on My Mind” soared and was elevated higher by a lovely solo from lead trumpet player Jumaane Smith.

Glide Magazine
The young and ultra-talented Jumaane Smith was on trumpet.

By Timothy Stout April 26, 2004

London Evening Standard
25-year-old Seattle trumpeter Jumaane Smith was blowing like a young Woody Shaw
by Jack Massarik 21 Aug 2006

Wall Street Journal’s Will Freidwald
calls Jumaane Smith’s talent “surprising”

Film Handsome Harry Features Jazz Score & Theme
Music for new movie, starring Jamey Sheridan, is composed by Anton Sanko and performed by trumpeter Jumaane Smith
By Lee Mergner

Opening on April 16, the film Handsome Harry is not a jazz movie per se, yet the music provides both a backdrop and context for the story of a man seeking forgiveness and redemption for his past. The soundtrack was composed by Anton Sanko, who also scored Big Love. Trumpeter Jumaane Smith composed and performed the singular jazz interludes and trumpet parts.

The film is a both a labor of love and vehicle of sorts for veteran actor Jamey Sheridan who was one of the producers, and who is perhaps best known for his current role in the TV series Trauma and a previous recurring role in Law & Order: Criminal Intent. However, jazz-on-TV trivia experts may recall Sheridan’s role in an earlier TV series, Shannon’s Deal, in which he played a divorced Philadelphia lawyer, somewhat down on his luck, struggling to overcome his demons and maintain a relationship with his young daughter. The music for that short-lived series of 1990-1991 was composed and performed by a 29-year-old Wynton Marsalis.

Sheridan recalled that when that series was being produced, he heard from various folks in the business that jazz could not work for background music. “They would say, ‘You can’t do that,’ but the music is much more flexible. Now, after many years in the business, I know that they were full of you-know-what.”

Like the Philadelphia lawyer Shannon, Sheridan’s character in Handsome Harry also is a divorced father with plenty of issues, including a strained relationship with his son. But the heart of the movie revolves around his relationships with men in his distant past. The film, directed by Bette Gordon, opens with Harry being called to the deathbed of a Navy buddy played by Steve Buscemi, who asks Harry to reconcile with another buddy Dave Kagan, played by Campbell Scott, whom the two men, along with three other sailors in their unit, had brutally beaten and permanently injured many years ago. An anguished Harry goes off in search for each of the men involved and seeks forgiveness initially for his dying friend, but ultimately for himself. Among the actors playing the other Navy buddies are John Savage and Aidan Quinn.

To explain the details of the violent incident and its resolution would be to give away the climax of the film, Crying Game style, but the conflict, then and later, revolves around issues of male relationships and sexual identity. You didn’t ask, so I won’t tell. Jazz is used as a leitmotiv for the bond that the men shared back then. Buscemi’s character reminisces about going to see Roy Haynes at the Vanguard and there are numerous references throughout the film to the men’s common appreciation for the music. In addition, the victim of the beating was a pianist and the injury he sustained effectively ended his ability to play the music he loved. Harry himself sings in what seems like a barbershop quartet, but we won’t go there.

Sheridan says that jazz has a major role in the film. “I think of it as the third major character in the movie,” he explains. “Jazz is like Kagan’s mistress and he introduces her to the five guys. They go to see the music together and it forms a bond for these guys. There’s that ‘wow’ with them. Listening to the music was like looking at a beautiful woman, that sort of rapture.”

If you get the impression that Sheridan has a passion and affinity for jazz, you’d be correct. Growing up in the Southern California area, Sheridan started listening to jazz when he was 17. “I had this job delivering newspapers to the boxes on the street,” Sheridan recalls. “I was up early in the morning and I was bored with rock and the guitar solos.” He started to listen to jazz on KBCA (now KJZZ) and he was hooked. “I worshipped Chuck Niles. From that point on, jazz became my meat and potatoes.” Now, as the father of three young children, Sheridan laments that he can’t listen to jazz as much as he’d like. “It seems like I would always listen to jazz in the car, and now that’s a lot harder.”

Sheridan says that Smith’s trumpet leads really gave the music a presence in the movie. “It’s his heart,” Sheridan explains. “He has great empathy.” He recalls seeing Smith in a local LA club at a Monday night jazz show, and being impressed with the young trumpeter. “We come in late to his show and it’s clear that he only has 10 minutes to go. He’s playing this burning Freddie Hubbard type thing and he was great. But I knew that the movie needed beauty in those trumpet parts. So I started saying to myself, ‘please, please, play a ballad.’ Sure enough he does a ballad to end the set. And his sound was beautiful. I knew he’d be perfect.”

A graduate of the jazz programs at the New School and Julliard and a member of Michael Buble’s touring band, Smith says that this was his first experience performing music for a film soundtrack. He initially watched the movie without a soundtrack and came up with the trumpet parts that cue dramatic scenes about the men.

For example, for the scene in which Buscemi’s character is on his deathbed, Smith says: “I based the initial part on his heartbeat, which eventually dissipates into nothing. The rhythm section conveyed that, with the melody representing a convergence of one’s own mortality.”

Smith says that the experience of recording for the film changed the way he approached music. “I was forced to focus on imagery, so it opened up my concept as a musician,” Smith says. “Like Miles, the music portrays an image and the pieces are shaped with peaks and valleys. And it’s not a linear approach.” He acknowledged Sheridan’s conception of the trumpet’s role. “The trumpet represented the memories that the characters shared together.”

Sheridan best describes why jazz works in the context of this film. “It comes to you free, with no filter or preconception.”

From Jazz Clubs To Juilliard—
Jumaane Smith’s Trumpet Blast Is His Calling Card

By John Voket

Jumaane Smith may not be a household name… yet, but his trumpet playing skills have been tapped by some of the entertainment industry’s biggest celebrities, plus he’s got a regular gig with Michael Bublé’s touring band. Smith, a Danbury resident, will be premiering his new solo project, I Only Have Eyes for You, in a hometown show at the Danbury Palace Theater on January 21.
DANBURY — The name may be unfamiliar, but once you hear the clarion blast of his trumpet, the sounds that Danbury resident Jumaane Smith evokes from his instrument are sure to make an indelible impression. With a style as unique as some of his more renowned predecessors, Jumanne is destined to join the ranks of Dizzy, Maynard, Sir Duke and Bix — cool players with unforgettable handles, at least for jazz lovers.
Today, he divides his time between working beside Michael Bublé in the Canadian singer and actor’s touring band; various session gigs supporting other players. from John Mayer to Queen Latifah; and finishing his first solo album, I Only Have Eyes For You. Smith will be showcasing selections from that project in a hometown show at Danbury’s Palace Theater on January 21.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Smith discovered his gift for the trumpet (and a great singing voice, too) at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. It was there that, according to his bio, Smith won an outstanding soloist trumpet award at the 4th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival held at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Upon his graduation, Smith returned to New York, this time on a scholarship to attend New School University, where he was tapped to join the inaugural class of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Wynton Marsalis and Rashied Ali.

At that point his growing list of accomplishments went into overdrive: playing lead trumpet for the inaugural Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, jamming in the Juilliard Jazz Quintet, and appearing at The Montreux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival and The Montreal Jazz Festival.

In 2003, Jumaane founded his own band, Groovology, while beginning to amass a resume that lists a diverse range of collaborating artists including Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Ravi Coltrane, Jon Faddis, Wycliffe Gordon, Percy Heath, Herb Jeffries, Loren Schoenberg, Bobby Short, Nas, Mary J. Blige, Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, LL Cool J, Alicia Keys, Quincy Jones, and Justin Bieber.

He is also remembered for a notable turn at the 2009 Grammy Awards backing Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers.

Smith has left his mark in the film world as well, contributing jazz interludes and trumpet parts he composed and performed for the 2010 film Handsome Harry, starring Jamey Sheridan and Steve Buscemi.

In an interview with The Newtown Bee, Smith said he is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding his first solo album, which will be ready to preview in a few more weeks. And he is excited to be returning to the stage, albeit in the spotlight versus being parked in the ensemble.

“I haven’t had the solo project mastered yet because there are still a few things I am still editing,” Smith said. “There will be a lot of that material at the Danbury show.”

According to Smith, Michael Bublé was instrumental in helping get the trumpeter’s solo project off the ground.

“Michael helped me with my song selections, he helped me assemble the team — I’m basically using a lot of the same team that he uses when he goes into the studio, from producers to editors and all that stuff.”

But don’t expect a Bublé album sans the velvet crooner, himself.

“I feel I have a really unique concept and ability at this time,” Smith aid. “My project is capturing parts of Michael’s essence and what he does, and also capturing parts of Chris Botti and what he does, and more than a few parts of Louis Armstrong.

“I’ve put those together with the song selections that fit into my personality, my taste, and what I like,” he added. “It’s not just jazz – we went through both pop and jazz standards, but people will probably recognize most of the songs.”

Despite the familiarity factor, Smith insists he has nonetheless made all the selections on I Only Have Eyes for You his own.

“We do a Percy Mayfield song, ‘Please Bring Me Someone to Love,’ which is originally a slow, down tempo arrangement with a male voice. But I was hearing something completely different. I was hearing like, Aretha Franklin, so we put that together with a full choir and orchestra, and turned it into a really full gospel track now.”

Smith also covers the Beatles “Yesterday,” with a smoky vocal treatment that Smith said combines elements of James Taylor, Sting and Van Morrison.

And while he’s typically back in the shadows when he’s adding background vocals to the Bublé show, Smith’s new project includes a few numbers where he takes to the microphone to sing, as well as four tracks that showcase his instrumental arranging and performing prowess.

Jumaane Smith, Michael Bublé’s lead trumpeter, will perform on January 21 at The Palace Danbury Theater.

Together with and his all-star band, Smith will play a mix of jazz and pop standards from his soon to be released debut album.

They will perform titles such as I Only Have Eyes For You, The Way You Look Tonight, Someone To Watch over Me, and What a Wonderful World. This is the music from the Great American Songbook repertoire, the timeless tunes that we all know and love. Smith looks forward to sharing his passion for this music in the intimate setting of the Palace Danbury.
“When you look out into the audience at these shows you see young people, old people, all races. It brings people together,” he said.

Since 2004, Smith has toured and recorded extensively with crooner Michael Bublé. He’s played in historic clubs, massive stadiums and for two sitting U.S. presidents. He’s contributed to several Grammy winning albums as well as playing at the awards ceremony with Stevie Wonder. He’s appeared on Ellen, Oprah, The Today Show, Saturday Night Live and David Letterman. He studied under Wynton Marsalis as a member of the inaugural class of Jazz Studies at Julliard. Not bad for a performer who has just turned 30.

Read more: http://tunes.broadwayworld.com/article/Jumaane-Smith-Michael-Bubls-Lead-Trumpeter-To-Play-Palace-Danbury-20120120#ixzz1lG9Dcv1J