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"Jazz Monthly Feature Interview" Jumaane Smith
interview by Joe Caroselli

Jumaane SmithFrom traveling the world with Michael Bublé to playing the Grammy Awards show with Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers, Jumaane Smith has collaborated with the best of the best… Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, Wynton Marsalis, Diddy, Chris Botti, Ravi Coltrane... the list is endless.

His debut release “I Only Have Eyes For You” is a celebration of the Great American Songbook with the theme of love and romance. The debut features performances by Michael Bublé, Jackie Evancho as well as the title track/lead single featuring Naturally 7, which has reached the Top #15 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Singles Charts.
Receiving excellent reviews by critics and the jazz world alike, Jumaane combines his multi talents as Trumpeter, Vocalist, and much more!

We caught up with Jumaane while he was on tour to talk with us about his new release.

 

JazzMonthly: Jumaane, you must be so gratified by all of the unanimous praise that you have been receiving from fans and critics alike.

JS: Yes, it is a quite rewarding feeling to know that all my hard work and effort to bring this record to life is being thoroughly enjoyed by it’s listeners. I’m very grateful.

JazzMonthly: From your performance, to the arrangements, to the sound quality, to just the overall musicality, this CD is so appealing on so many levels.Did you have a specific vision as to how you wanted your project of the Great American Songbook standards to really be unique?

JS: My goal with regards to making this record was do everything at the highest quality possible with and make a record with broad appeal and depth of musicality.

JazzMonthly: You are currently touring with Michael Bublé, and Michael is actually a guest vocalist on one of your tracks--- “Come Rain or Come Shine.” You know each other musically so well. Have your many live performances with Michael make all of this happen in such a “natural” way?

JS: I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Michael onstage and off. Buble has been a gracious mentor. A big part of the reason Come Rain Or Come Shine came together so seamlessly is because of the onstage chemistry we have developed after nearly a decade of performing together.

JazzMonthly: We get to hear your expressive singing on "What a Wonderful World", "The Way You Look Tonight" and “La Vie En Rose,” where we also hear Jackie Evancho. What was it like working with Jackie and your other guest vocalists?

I really enjoyed having all the guest artists who joined me on this record. Jackie is incredible, it amazes me every time I hear her sing. It’s hard to believe she is just 14 years old now. Brenna Whitaker is a dear friend and tremendous talent who has her debut record coming out on Verve later this year. Brenna’s voice reminds me of Judy Garland on our rendition of “Dream”. Shayna Steele is another hugely talented vocalist with soulful southern roots and the pipes to let em shine through. I’m so grateful to have Shayna’s magic on Please Send Me Someone to Love. To have Michael Buble on my record is extraordinary! With a voice the whole world knows and loves it’s truly and honor to have his incredible singing and phrasing on Come Rain Or Come Shine, remarkably we did the recording in just one take. Michael is a master. Then there is the great A capella group Naturally 7 who has opened at Michael Buble’s concerts for the last 7 years. They are also tremendously talented performing the sounds of all the instruments with their voices. On “I Only Have Eyes For You” the only sound aside from voices is my trumpet.


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