On a nice fall day there is nothing I love better than sipping on some coffee, writing in my journal, and listening to the smooth sounds of jazz infused with R&B. Lately I’ve found myself getting lost in the creative sounds of Art of Noise, Marcus Anderson, JazzTronik,Acoustic Alchemy, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Water Beasley, and so many other great musicians. I’ve always been a huge fan of smooth jazz artists, and I can recall so many days my mom driving me to school teaching me about different jazz musicians.
I grew up listening to a wide array of music, and thanks to the Internet I can know easily discover new music. It’s so easy to get lost on Youtube in search of great music, but my latest great find didn’t come from YouTube; I found this amazing artist watching NBC’s NonStop Scene:DC. I was watching the show about a week ago and they did a spotlight on this artist named Johnny Graham. His name alone sounds like the perfect name for a jazz musician, but when you hear him play the trumpet you realize he knows more about jazz then just having a suave name. This smooth guy has the knack for creating beautiful jazz that is infused with hints of R&B and hip-hop.
Johnny Graham is a talented Baltimore, Maryland native that is exceptionally skilled on the trumpet, piano, flugelhorn, and he has a gift for poetry. I first heard his music while watching NonStop Scene:DC and immediately had to find out who this amazing young man was. I meet so many young men that often tell me they are a musician, and I ask them which instrument they play, then they simply respond with “Oh, I’m a rapper.” Nothing wrong with being a rap artist or a singer, but since I played flute for seven years in band, I do enjoy the pure musicianship and skill that comes with cultivating an instrument and utilizing it to craft beautiful music.
Pure musicianship is a skill that takes a lot of time and effort, but Johnny seems to be so versatile in his musical approach. Even though he is currently working on a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Maryland as a Dean’s Scholar, this bright young man, at the age of 23, has a great future ahead of him in the arena of jazz and R&B. I don’t personally know Johnny, but I can tell from his music, his YouTube videos, and his very professional website that he is very dedicated to making his music a reality.
He’s already performed at countless numbers of venues up and down the East Coast, and his first solo project Coming of Age came out in summer 2010 and received great reviews from publications in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan region(known to us locals as the DMV.) Johnny is already making a name for himself as a serious musician, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he eventually in the years to come became a popular figure in the jazz community.
Johnny Graham is a young brotha that showcases a level of class and style that exudes each time he plays the trumpet. His music is the perfect soundtrack for those breezy fall days; when you’re in search of some smooth comfort grab a book, a warm beverage, and chill out to the sounds of great jazz musicians, including the up and coming Johnny Graham. His music is truly a timeless escape that is filled with love, passion, courage, determination, and it’s the story of a young man from Baltimore trying to reach the world one note at a time…
Be sure to check out Johnny Graham’s website. I’ve contacted him on Twitter and from what I’ve heard, he’s got some new music on the way. So stay tuned for more from this talented musician!
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
It’s no surprise that I listen to a lot of music aside from house music. I didn’t go to this month’s Deep Sugar because I had a date and ended up going out for a nice dinner and movie. My brother and his friends went instead and they said it was a blast, so I’m definitely not going to miss the next Deep Sugar Party. I love house music with a passion, but I’m more than just a house music junkie.
My Ipod is filled with a lot of jazz, classic rock, pop songs, and other genres in the realm of world music. This may be a shock to many, but I actually like country. Now I may not be a big country music fan but I do enjoy some songs and the music of Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts. The music of Rascal Flatts is country but it goes beyond just talking about a lady and a car, it’s good music and not just filled with southern twang.
The video I posted above is the “Toms Diner (DNA remix)” by Suzanne Vega. I listen to that song every other day, mixed in a shuffle of Phil Collins, Annie Lennox, and Dave Matthews Band. I love music and I couldn’t just listen to hip-hop on a daily basis. I have so many other genres of music I like aside from house and neo-soul, but house music is still one of my favorite genres. Being musically diverse is essential, especially for interaction in such a culturally diverse society. I couldn’t just listen to one type of music all day and not be aware of other genres. Being musically close minded is one of the reasons for social interactions that are lacking in enthusiasm. I can’t stand talking to people that only listen to one genre of music and think everything else is terrible. Hip-hop is great but it’s not the only genre of music out there.
I’m not trying to go on a rant, I’ll save that for my non-fiction book. I’m taking a break from fiction and going back to what I know best. I’ve just been frustrated lately with some of my social interactions with people that are so close minded and don’t seem to get my personality. It’s not their fault, I’m just a peculiar person. I’m really not accustomed to being around people that are so high minded and caught up on material success, but that’s what happens when you live in a region saturated with so much wealth. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, but I’m going to collect all my thoughts and put them in a concise format. So stay tuned for more of my witty opinions. I’m on a journey of finding myself and the type of people that deserve the title of being my friend, the people who actually understand me.
So check out some of my favorite songs. Who knows, some of these songs might your favorites as well.
I love Phil Collins and “Take Me Home” has been a favorite song of mine for years!
Art of Noise- Moments in Love. I have always loved this song, been listening to it for the past 10 years!
GQ- Disco Night
I play this song everyday and love it so much! Kings of Leon is an awesome band and “Use Somebody” is a beautiful song, I love the lead singer’s voice.
I’m a huge Annie Lennox fan and “No More I Love You’s” is a lovely song. I hated Nicki Minaj’s sample of this song, eww….she ruined a classic.
Elton John singing “Benny and the Jets” on Soul train, what a classic!
Huge jazz fan and listen to jazz a lot, especially when I’m writing. So David Benoit “Freedom at Midnight” is surely a favorite, along with many songs from Dave Koz, Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Paul Hardcastle, and many other artists
I’m also a big fan of Michael McDonald, yet I meet so many people who never heard of him. They are missing out on a classic.
The Family- The Screams of Passion