Life gives you so many surprises. As the weekend of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee came to its close this year a jazz musician by the name of Anthony Coleman decided to bless us with his musical presence at one of Capcitysoul’s monthly events. After completing his last gig of the evening he has left an imprint on a few key players here in our city.
Anthony Coleman II, a Sacramento native, has given his time to share his experience with us. Being a seasoned trumpet, piano and percussion master, he has taken his talent on tour from the west to the east. Working with well known artists; Joss Stone, Raphael Saadiq, Blackalicious and Ludacris this ear pleaser is sure to make even bigger foot prints in years to come. Another respectable asset that Anthony possesses is his full understanding of keeping music alive. Hooking up with another native of Sacramento, Benwar Shepard, to mentor and teach our youth the use of instruments, sounds, and vocal coaching along with instrumental orchestrated techniques these two musical vets are passing on their talent to youngsters and even adults at The Table, www.tableumc.org. With his long list of accomplishments Anthony and his groups Enoeca and Simplistic BigBand will continue to rise in the world of Jazz. Sacramento I introduce: Anthony Coleman III.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your background with music and how you came to be a trumpet player.
I don’t know the first experience with music exactly, but when I was 2 my pops and I took a train to see family in New Orleans. I’m sure at some point I heard a brass band or something that triggered an interest in music. I would mess around and play uncle’s guitar when I was about 5 or so, but I didn’t really start until my mother gave me a little keyboard around 7.
The trumpet started when I was 9 at the Salvation Army summer camp. The last week of the camp they would put on a concert with the campers. They gave me a trumpet that summer as well as the following 2 summers. That was the beginning.
Q: What were your influences during your adolescent, teenage and adult life?
A lot, wow when I was young I listened to James Brown, Stevie, Michael Jackson and cats like that. As a teenager I got more into different styles. The jazz album I had was Thelonious Monk’s Greatest Hits. I loved it!!!! That got me into Miles Davis, and Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard. I never stopped since. My college years I got into so much more. Kim Burrell, Doobie Powell, Bjork, Squarepusher, Frank Sinatra, a lot of Duke Ellington, so many we’d be here forever. Adult life was pretty much Life itself, New York and Georgia Anne Muldrow.
Q: Who inspires you when creating?
Some of my good friends actually, cats like Justin Brown, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, Joe Sanders, Burniss Travis, Jamire Williams, Chris Turner, Jesse Boykins III, Keyon Harrold, Saunders Sermon and the others. Oh and of course my loving mother (rest in peace) and my amazing son.
Q: Why a trumpet?
Why not, the trumpet has been the lead communicator forever; from the bible to the military it leads the group. Also the sound! But really because that was what the camp gave me when I was a camper…..
Q: How did you come to leave Sacramento and end up in New York?
Before I went to NY I went to the Brubeck Institute. After working with the musicians in the program, and taking it all (the music) seriously, I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I auditioned to Julliard and got a 3rd scholarship, while I was in NY for my audition I went to meet up with a friend at the New School and their director, at the time, gave me an application and let me audition (a little late) and I got a full (tuition) Scholarship, that’s how I got to New York.
Q: The differences in the jazz music scene from west coast to east coast?
This is my favorite question but I don’t know the best way to answer it, so ill just say the two biggest jazz scenes in the states are New York and New Orleans.
Both of those scenes are completely different but a lot of musicians get deep into the music and then move to one of these two cities. As far as the difference between east and west jazz, there are more musicians on the east so there are more folks that have devoted their lives to the music than on the west coast. If your life is music NY is a great place to be.
Q: What are your goals as a jazz musician?
When I was younger it jus about being one of the cats, now I just want to travel with my groups around the world with my boys nothing would be better.
Q: Any new projects we should follow?
In the Sacramento area Element Brass Band, Scientific Remedies, Simplistic Big Band, and Sankofa as far as bands, My Business partner(Benwar Shepard) and I have put together a music school for all ages including adults at a local non-profit, The Table. You may go to http://www.Tableumc.org and click on music to be apart of the programs. As far as outside of the Sacramento region, Google/YouTube any of these Killin = Erimaj, Chris Turner, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, Jesse Boykins III, Saunders Sermon, Ben Williams, Becca Stephens, Gretchen Parlado, Esperanza Spaulding, Robert Glaspar, Thomas Pridgen, The Memorials, All my folks at Revive the Live, Keyon Harrold, Ab-soul, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Walter Smith III, Jon Baptiste, Muhsinah, Kendrick Lamar, SchoolboyQ, Bilal, Jhene Aiko, Little Brother, Foreign Exchange, J Dilla and the list will go on so that’s pretty much who I am checking out.
Q: In one word what does music mean to you?
I want to express how very important it is for us to remember that the teaching of our youth will help keep this historical sound alive. You may donate for the cause at http://www.tableumc.org. Support our own and keep our youth involved.
Follow his work and life at his myspace, facebook and youtube pages. You will be glad you did.