The Black Gold Orchestra, led by Larry Wilson performing Cedar Walton’s “Firm Roots” arranged by Melvin Jones! Recorded live at 37 Main in Decatur, GA.
SOLOISTS: Curtis Olawumi - Trumpet Derrick Jackson - Trombone Derrick James - Alto Saxophone Larry Wilson- Drums
FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY \\ Filmed live at The Black Gold Orchestra's album release party September 11, 2023.
Guest soloist: Tony Hightower - vocals
Soloist: Akeem Marable - Alto Saxophone
Arranged for big band by Melvin Jones
The Black Gold Orchestra is a 19-piece big band based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2021 by Larry Wilson, this all black collective of world class musicians seeks to amplify the rich tradition of Black American music and culture.
Take a peek at our television appearance on Atlanta News First as we continue to promote our upcoming album release, "Genesis." Available on all digital streaming platforms Friday, September 8th.
Jazz is a vibrant genre, ceaselessly absorbing elements from contrasting musical worlds. Each generation crafts its own ever-evolving auditory journey, thrilling jazz enthusiasts anew.
The jazz albums of today have to hit the scene with a genre-blending sound that is increasingly popular. The Black Gold Orchestra’s debut album, “Genesis,” released on September 8, 2023, bursts onto the platform as a sprawling mosaic of Black American music.
Larry Wilson has become a highly sought after professional musician, producer, recording artist and engineer. He is the owner of Truth Music Productions and Wilson Works Studios. After graduating the prestigious Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in 2005, Larry was accepted into the Berklee College of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory on Music but went on to Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL on a full scholarship majoring in jazz studies. He quickly began making a name for himself in Gospel, Jazz, and R&B circles both as a multi instrumentalist and as a producer. He served as musical director for both FAMU and FSU gospel choirs between 2006-2009. Larry started his own production company in 2008. Since then he has worked with some of the biggest names in gospel music such as Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage, Tye Tribbett, Kim Burrell, Dorinda Clark Cole, and many others.
He has also worked with many Jazz artists around the country such as Calvin Newborn, Wycliff Gordon, Russel Gunn, Linda Cole, Chantae Cann, Jamison Ross, Theo Crocker, Kenny Banks Jr, Victor Provost, Joe Gradsden and Micah Bethea to name a few. He has also shared stages with musical greats in other genres such as Jennifer Holiday, Dwele, Da Brat, and Silk.
Larry is a critically acclaimed jazz artist in his own right. He has released three albums under his own name, two of which were considered in the first round of the Grammy Awards (2016 and 2020). His collaborations as a producer have led to over 100 album credits (and counting), various Grammy, Stellar, and Rhythm of Gospel award nominations with other artists as well as numerous placements on Billboard charts. Larry has also spread the joy of music to younger generations as an instructor and clinician. He has worked with Georgia State University's Rialto Jazz Program, The Emory School of Music, Mercer University, Amerigospel Workshop and the Gospel Heritage National Conference. He has played overseas in Ireland, Spain, UK, and in the Bahamas.
This Memphis, Tennessee native’s first professional recording came while enrolled at Morehouse College for TLC’s triple platinum, Grammy-Winning album Fanmail, most notably on their hit No Scrubs. Jones then earned his Master's Degree from Rutgers University while receiving the intensive instruction of the late, world-renowned trumpet guru, William “Prof" Fielder, whose student roster reads like a “Who’s Who” of Musical Legends. Jones later returned to Morehouse at the age of 24 to become the youngest Band Director in the college's history. Years later, he left “The House” to return full-time to touring, performing, and recording. Since then, he has toured/ performed with Tyler Perry, Illinois Jacquet, Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, PJ Morton, Young Jeezy, Jennifer Holliday, Arrested Development, and the list goes on. Having worked on scores of award-winning records, movies, and TV & stage productions Melvin is now credited on nearly 300 projects spanning decades across various genres.
Currently, Jones can be found as a member/ horn arranger in Usher's Residency and Touring Bands, Patti LaBelle's Touring Band, and occasionally Stevie Wonder's Band. As an officially rostered artist, Melvin endorses Bach Trumpets, Phaeton Flugelhorns, Denis Wick Mutes and Mouthpieces, Reunion Blues Gig bags, and Empire Ears custom in-ear monitors. Additionally, Jones sits as a member of the Grammy's Atlanta Chapter Board of Governors, as well as serves on the faculty of Morehouse College, Spelman College, and occasionally part-time at Georgia Tech University.
Derrick James is a jazz saxophonist, is the son of a gospel singer and the grandson of a jazz trombonist. After high school, Derrick devoted his time to study jazz performance and composition. He would go on to attend Berklee College of Music, Long Island University, University of Miami, and SUNY Purchase College. During his time in school, Derrick privately studied saxophone with George Garzone, Steve Slagle, Bill Saxton, Gary Keller, Pete Yellin, Dick Oatts, Sherman Irby, Steve Wilson, and Jon Gordon.
Derrick has a Bachelors degree in jazz performance and a Masters degree in jazz studies. Derrick also served 23 years in the United States Army as a jazz saxophonist for the West Point Band’s Jazz Knights and Benny Haven’s Band.
Derrick’s versatility, composing, and jazz improvisational skills have allowed him to record and/ or share the stage with many world renowned musicians such as: Chaka Khan, Billy Cobham, Prince, George Duke, Red Holloway, Whitney Houston, The Weather Girls, Michael Bolton, Jon Faddis, Adam Nussbaum, Donna Summers, Lenny Castro, Gloria Estefan, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Mose Allison, Bobby Kimball, Robert Rodriguez, Mike Rodriguez, Buddy Williams, Melvin Davis, Jimmy Sabater, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Woode, Pete York, Larry Graham, Ira Coleman, Chico Freeman,Stefon Harris, Dom Romao, Salif Keita, and Claudio Roditi.
Derrick has also performed in the films Respect and Lovecraft Country. Derrick has performed on the following Jazz Festivals: The Playboy Jazz Festival, The Hampton Jazz Festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival, The Essence Music Festival, and The Bermuda Jazz Festival.
Derrick has performed on the following television broadcasts: Good Morning America, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Sinbad Soul Music Festival on HBO, and The West Point Holiday Show on FOX News.
Michael Burton completed both bachelors and masters degrees in Jazz Studies under the renowned musician and professor, David Baker at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Trained in music from an early age, his mother is an original member of the legendary Mississippi Mass Choir. Burton’s distinctive soulful saxophone performances, riveting grooves and vocal productions are the result of this influence and his native Jackson, Mississippi culture.
Currently Michael is touring with Usher and Patti LaBelle. He has also toured with Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige and Anita Baker as well as with New Edition, and PJ Morton. He’s also performed with Aretha Franklin, Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia, Young Jeezy, Tank, Chrisette Michelle, Eric Benet, Regina Belle, Russell Gunn, Eric Roberson and many others. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Inside the NBA on TNT, The Steve Harvey Show, Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel. The Atlanta metro area resident has also played keys and saxophone for numerous Tyler Perry Stage and film productions. He can also be seen playing his saxophone in the HBO movie Bessie, NatGeo’s Genius Aretha, Bravo Reality TV Shows The New Atlanta and I Dream of NeNe The Wedding, as well as episodes on the IFC series Brockmire and STAR on FOX.
Burton’s saxophone and horn arrangements can be heard on recordings with a long list of jazz, soul, pop, rhythm and blues, gospel, and hip/hop artists including Jennifer Lopez, Kirk Franklin, Queen Latifah, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Ciara, Musiq Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, The Hamiltones, Mary Mary, Wale, BeBe Winans, Deborah Joy Winans, Lecrae (Gold Record for Anomaly), Fat Joe, Pitbull, Bria Lee, The Jacksons, Will Downing, Maysa Leak, Kim Burrell, Kelontae Gavin, Brian Courtney Wilson, Deborah Cox, Yolanda Adams, Stokley Williams, Polow Da Don, Ann Nesby, Jennifer Holliday, KeKe Palmer, Avery Sunshine, Chantae Cann, Jeff Bradshaw, Joshua Rogers, Candi Staton, Arrested Development, Leslie Odom, BiBi Bourelly, The Brown Boyz, Sho Baraka, Alyson Williams, John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band), Christian Paul, Marcus Johnson, Titus Showers, The Mississippi Mass Choir, LaShun Pace, Latrice Pace, Kathy Taylor, Dr. James Mable Jr., Australian Pop Star Guy Sebastian, UK sensations Paloma Faith and Kaiser Chiefs, and many others. His soulful saxophone can also be heard on 2 Grammy Nominated projects, ”Love Has Finally Come At Last," by Calvin Richardson as well as PJ Morton’s Gumbo album, and PJ Morton’s Grammy Winning album The Gospel According To PJ. Mike was also a featured soloist on Hidden Beach Recordings Unwrapped Volume 5.
Other television credits include, horn arranger/saxophone/flute for The National Anthem Super Bowl LV (Jazmine Sullivan & Eric Church), performing with Nas at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards, 2021 & 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame house band (HBO), 2022 NBA AllStar Game half time performance with Earth Wind & Fire, 2021 NBA All Star Game (Lift Every Voice and Sing), 2021 CNN New Years Eve with Patti LaBelle, 2021 NAACP Image Awards, house band for season 2 of Fox’s The Masked Singer (2019), the house band for the 2013 - 2019 Trumpet Awards (which aired on TVone and Bounce TV), as well as seasons 6 through 10 of BET's hit show Sunday Best. He was also in the house band for the 2017 BET Her Fights, 2017 - 2020 Soul Train Awards (BET), 2020 Our Own Christmas (OWN), 2019, 2021, & 2022 Stellar Awards, 2019 & 2022 Black Music Honors, 2018 & 2020 BET Awards, 2020 John Lewis Tribute (CBS), 2018 VH1 Dear Mama, 2011 Dove Awards, the 2015 UNCF honors (BET), and the 2015 McDonalds 365 Black Awards (BET). Michael frequently appeared on BET's The Mo'nique show as a member of the house band (Big Jim's Penthouse Playas).
Michael has also served as an Artist in Residence in the US Virgin Islands, providing music education and mentorship to middle school, high school, and college students throughout St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. Mike serves as Vice President on the Grammy Board of Governors for the Atlanta Recording Academy chapter, where he is the co- chair of the education committee. He’s also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Burton has written and/or produced songs for Trombone Shorty, Jeff Bradshaw, Candi Staton, YoYo, Alex Bugnon, Terrell Carter, Paula Champion, Christian Keyes, Chandra Currelley, Bria Lee and others. His music can be heard in the films Note To Self (Christian Keyes) and aTypical Wednesday (J. Lee). Mike has released 6 independent projects, Sojourn, Soulful, The Producer, Say What?, Walk With Me, and The Mike Burton Band. In 2012, Mike, along a few of his musician friends, assembled the Good Times Brass Band, a horn driven band with a funky blend of New Orleans style second line and DC GoGo. They have one EP to their credit. Mike plays Java Saxophones, Jody Jazz Mouthpieces, and he uses Reunion Blues Gig Bags, Empire In Ear Monitors, and Dante Saxophone Neckstraps. He is a proud family man. He and his wife of 16 years, celebrity Chef Razia Sabour, have two daughters, Layla Kai and Caden Rae.
Pianist Kenny Banks Jr., a resident of Atlanta Ga, has earned a reputation as one of the most dynamic jazz artists in the Southeast. Kenny was heavily into music at an early age and started playing music in church at age twelve. Kenny, the Columbus, OH native Inherently shared an interest in jazz. He began his studies by attending music camps, performance arts schools and participating in programs/workshops such as the Vail Jazz institute. Still in high school, Kenny began traveling abroad as a member of the CYJO, performing in theaters and elite jazz venues across the globe. Kenny’s love and drive for music continues. Most recently, he became a finalist in the 2019 American Pianists Awards jazz competition, in which he performed to great acclaim in solo and trio formats.
Kenny has performed and recorded around the world with a wide variety of artists. In the jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip-hop scenes, some of these artists include Kurt Ellington, Jennifer Holiday, Jeff Hamilton, David Sanchez, Dottie Peoples, Lil John Roberts, Wycleff Gorden, Jason Marsalis, Les Nubians, Darryl Reeves, Jazzmeia Horn, Mali Music, Theo Croker, Charlie Hunter, Russel Gunn, 8Ball & MJG, Christian Howes, Kim Burrell, Ulysses Owens, Kenny Lattimore, Terreon Gully, Dionne Farris, Carmen Bradford, Queen Latifah, The Georgia horns, Russell Malone and Phife dawg of “A Tribe Called Quest”.
Kenny feels most comfortable in solo and trio formats, performing original music. He is noted for his blended technique in mixing jazz, gospel and hip-hop styles. Downbeat Magazine describes his playing as “gospel and blues-infused” and calls his arrangements “thrilling, modern and surprising.” Jazziz Magazine notes his “deeply embodied gospel and soul roots” with “supple phrasing and effortless command of late 20th century harmony.”
Kenny Banks Jr expresses himself compositionally from a broad range of music. KJO’s Live at Lucille’s states, “His music is at once sophisticated, spirited, spontaneous and brilliantly executed.” “Embrace the sound,” says Kenny. “This way of thinking aids me in my approach, keeping me open minded and helping me to view situations from a state of optimism, on and off the bandstand.”
Facebook: Kenny Banks Jr
Bassist Joel Powell, affectionately know as “Baba Onifade”, hails from Albany, GA. Joel is the product of a musical family and exhibited an early interest in bass and saxophone, as well in reading and martial arts. Graduating from Albany State University with a BA in Saxophone Performance, Joel taught Chorus and Music Appreciation before being relocated to Atlanta where he encountered numerous playing opportunities. He has toured with the likes of India.Arie, Musiq Soulchild, Jennifer Holliday, and Mike Phillips among many others. Joel is currently a first call bassist in Atlanta, where he and his wife, Nobella, reside.
Erik Miller is a native of Providence Rhode Island. He grew up playing drums in church but suddenly switched to organ at the age of 18. He was inspired when he heard a recording of the late Bill Evans trio playing Nardis. His passion for music of all styles and genres is evident in his playing and conversation about music. Erik relocated to Atlanta Georgia in 2000 and made Georgia his home. His tenacity and determination to improve has led to many opportunities in the Christian community and gospel music industry. He has toured with and played for many gospel artists (Tasha Cobbs Leonard, William Murphy, Pastor Mike, Kevin Lemons and Higher Calling, Karen Clark, Micheal Lampkin) and gospel festivals.
As a life long learner he has studied with some of Atlantas best jazz piano educators in the persons of Ted Howe and Kevin Bales. Erik is undeniably a gospel organist with a love for jazz, classical and soul music.
Artist and Composer, Michael Cruse is a musically captivating talent having captured audiences all around the world. Cruse, a Lexington, Kentucky native, is known for his unique take on the musical stylings of the incomparable Louis Armstrong. Michael’s compositions and arrangements have been featured in various TV shows, films, and commercials, which have been aired across the nation.
Michael’s musical lineage spans 100 years, including two gospel recording groups, the Brooks Sisters and the Raglin Brothers of Kentucky, and his dear uncle Charles Quillings, teacher of esteemed jazz pianist Les McCann. His Uncle Charles took Michael under his wing as a young child, starting him with piano, later teaching him trumpet, and how to read and write music. Michael then went on to attend The University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music for Jazz Studies Performance and Composition.
After graduating, Michael released his first CD entitled “Unbridled'' featuring his group The Michael Cruse Quintet. Michael’s Latest single “You” (2020) can be found available on any music streaming platform. Michael performs locally in Atlanta, Georgia, and tours across the nation at various concert halls, jazz festivals, and jazz clubs. Michael is currently serving as an ArtistAffiliate and Brass Instructor in the Jazz Studies Department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Michael has performed and studied with jazz greats such as Roy Hargrove, Les McCann, JD Allen, Terence Blanchard, Javon Jackson, Lew Soloff, Wynton Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, John Fedchock, Fareed Haque, Vince DiMartino, Gail Wynters, Byron Stripling, Jeff Hamilton, John Von Ohlen, and Kevin Harris. Michael has also performed in several groups for Bootsy Collins, KeKe Wyatt, Jazzmeia Horn, Keisha Cole, Mike Phillips, Chantae Cann, Damian Sneed, Marc Broussard, and Clyde Brown (Drifters). Michael was also a part of the filming of “Miles Ahead” and portrayed NYC-based trumpeter and recording artist, Ernie Royal, starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis (r. April 2016), as well as filming for HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” (released 2020).
Over past the past Decade, Terence has performed and toured around the world with many different recording artists including Musiq Soulchild, Tip T. I. Harris, Solange, Keith Sweat, Andy Lau, Khalil Fong (方大同), Phil Lam (林奕匡), Diana Wang (王詩安), Shila Amzah (茜拉), Johnny Gill, Otis Redding The 3rd and many others.
Terence also appeared on Musiq Soulchild’s album Feel the Real, which received a Grammy Nomination for Best R&B Album.
Melvin Fowler was born in DC and grew up in Jamaica Queens NY. He began playing the trumpet at the age of 11 years old and would soon go on to study with the greatest musicians in the world like Wynton Marsalis, Charles Tolliver, Reggie Workman, Kenny Barron and Danny Harper to name a few. He started his musical studies at The Juilliard school and would later attend The New School and Miles College. Before graduating he would begin playing professionally on the road with the best artist of our time. Names like Jon Batiste, TLC, Fantasia, Solange and R&B living legend Kem.
Musician and composer Frank Houston Hayes is an Atlanta, GA native with a background in jazz saxophone. Known for his versatility, he has recorded and performed many styles of music worldwide with various internationally acclaimed artists like George Duke, Thomas Rhett, P.J. Morton, and Khalil Fong, to name a few. He has had the opportunity to perform on countless TV and film productions such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Soul Train Awards, American Music Awards (AMAs), Bolden, and The Color Purple (2023). Frank graduated from Clark Atlanta University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and pledged Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. After touring the U.S. with R&B/neo soul superstar Musiq Soulchild, Frank was the featured saxophonist on the singer’s album, “Feel the Real” which was nominated for “Best R&B Album” in the 2017 Grammy Awards.
Tik Tok: @iamfrankhouston
Born on a hot LA summer day, in the backseat of his musician parents’ Buick Century, Jamel Mitchell arrived on his own terms. His father, the late James Mitchell, baritone saxophonist for the world-renowned Memphis Horns, encouraged his son to pursue a similar but more prescriptive yet individualized path. A graduate of Memphis’ Overton High School for the Performing Arts, Jamel honed his natural talent under the helm of seasoned professionals turned academics. Accepting a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Jamel went on to achieve a BA and MA in Jazz Performance, studying with Jerry Coker, Donald Brown and Greg Tardy.
An avid and passionate performer, Jamel’s sound is distinctly rooted in generational infused timbre and authenticity. During his captivating performances, you will hear the expertise and investment of all of those Jamel encountered along the way, equally balanced with his individual flavor. As a child, Jamel sought to emulate his father’s work ethic and quality which help build the Memphis sound of his Uncle Willie Mitchell’s Royal Recording Studio. The village that help craft Jamel’s unique sound extended beyond the Mitchell family to the larger global music community. Jamel has worked with numerous influential artists throughout his career, including, Jerry Douglas, KEM, Tyler Perry, Tamela and David Mann, Larry Carlton, Donald Brown, The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Five Plus Six, Ann Peebles, The Hi Rhythm Section, William Bell, Otis Clay, and Bobby Rush to name a few. Jamel was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2018 for his work on the album "What If" with The Jerry Douglas Band in the best contemporary instrumental music category.
The prescriptive path has led Jamel to continually share his talent with the world, as he embarks on his career as a musician. Jamel is presently based in Atlanta, GA.
The artist formerly known as Fareed Mahluli is a performing musician who has taught all levels of education K-college. He has performed globally in many world music formats, Afrobeat ,jazz, gospel ,Latin, and American popular genres. Performing Credits include the Oprah Winfrey Show and BET Awards festival.
Born in Columbus, GA, Derrick White developed his love for the trombone at the age of 11. At the age of 16, Played with the Temptations and The Four tops at the age of 16. He played with the Columbus College Jazz Band which went on a European tour which played at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival, and Euro Disney. After graduating from Columbus State University, He went on to Georgia State University to earn a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance. Upon graduating Georgia State University, he took a position in Atlanta Public Schools and taught Strings and Band for 5 years. He also was a professor of Jazz Studies at Morris Brown College. He has played with many artists such as Quincy Jones , Aretha Franklin, The Dells, Sonny Emory, Rene Marie, Don Braden, Conrad Herwig, Wycliff Gordon, Joe Lovano, Jennifer Holiday, Debbie Gibson, Bill Cosby, Johnny Gill, Tim Armacost, Russell Gunn and Bob Mintzer. He has recorded music with the SOS Band, Big Boi from OutKast, the movie IdleWild, featuring Outkast. He has played for the Inauguration Ball for President Barack Obama. He has also traveled extensively all over the United States, Mexico, and the Bahamas. Derrick has acted in the movie Bessie, starring Queen Latifah, playing in Ma’Rainey’s Band as a trombonist.
Herman Spearman is a trombonist from Atlanta, Georgia. Music continues to be a passion of his, especially performing with amazing musicians. He looks forward to many years of continued success and incredible music.
Will Williams is a Trombonist from Columbus, Georgia. His sound is a combination of Soul, R&B, and Gospel music with influences such as Marvin Gaye, James Brown, The Beatles, and The Winans. Over a period of more than 15 years, Will Williams has played, toured, and recorded for some of the biggest artists in the business.
After studying music at Alabama State University for two years, Will left college to pursue his passion for performing on his trombone. His career began on the “chitlin circuit” performing with artists such as Bobby Blue Bland, Marvin Cease, Theodis Ealey, and many more Southern Soul artists. He learned quickly and for the next two years went on to serve as the Musical Director for Calvin Richardson (The Prince of Soul) where they opened for BET Lifetime Honoree Charlie Wilson.
Under Super Producer Adam Blackstone, Will assisted with arranging the horns section for the National Anthem performance at the 2021 Super Bowl, sung by Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church. He has recorded with The Jacksons, Dj Khalid, Kelly Rowland, Grammy-nominated albums by Lecrae, and Rick Ross, and won a Grammy with PJ Morton for his 2021 Gospel Album of the Year, Gospel According To PJ. Since 2022, Will has been touring with Motown recording artist KEM and recently performed in Vegas on the USHER Residency.
Jacksonville native Wilbert Neal, a.k.a “Will Neal”, is a lifelong dedicated artist who brings his love and passion for the arts to every experience. He most recently completed an extensive run as horn section arranger for R&B legend Charlie Wilson (formerly of The GAP BAND). Neal also worked a decade long span in the same capacity with American Idol/Grammy Award Winner Fantasia Barrino. His studio production credits span from super-producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E.L.E.A.G.U.E, to artists such as T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, R.U.N. DMC to gospel singers such as Latice Crawford, Joshua Rodgers, James Fortune, Crystal Aiken, Tye Tribett, David and Tamela Mann, amongst others. Neal has performed on shows like Good Morning America, The Wendy Williams Show, 106 & Park & Live with Regis & Kelly, and Jimmy Kimmel among others. Mr. Neal currently performs with Reggae-Hip Hop Florida super group, “Split Tone”. He also serves as the host of the Florida Star Radio show "Impact" on WCGL 94.7FM in Jacksonville, Florida. His God given gift and commitment to a consistent work ethic are what allow him to be a light in many dark places.
Facebook: Will Neal
Derrick, aka DJ, is a Georgia-native creating a new sound and idea for the trombonist world. Derrick’s first professional recording opportunity came in 1999 while enrolled at Florida A&M University for the Tallahassee Democrat and Burger King commercials. Before graduating from college, DJ performed on the US tour of “Forever Swing.” This experience and performance opportunity led to him performing with Barry Manilow the next year and many other performance opportunities.
Derrick created with co-founder trumpeter Philbert Andrews ABOVE STANDARDZZ Hip hop jazz combo. This group included members such as world-renowned baritone saxophonist Jason Marshall. They rocked the north Florida scene with the sounds of Straight ahead and Dirty south music combined. During this time, ABOVE STANDARDZZ performed weekly at Tallahassee’s one and only Water Works jazz club and the top French restaurant in the southeast Che’ Piere. After graduation, DJ moved to Atlanta and began teaching in the Atlanta area. Following a few years of teaching, DJ began performing in the Atlanta area. During the summer of 2010, DJ was hired to play trombone for the world premiere of Douglas Tappin’s “I Dream.” During that same summer, DJ appeared in the Farley’s Brothers movie “The 3 Stooge’s.” The following summer, DJ recorded trombone lines on the Rick Ross Gold Album “Teflon Don’s, Maybach Music 3 featuring Rick Ross, Jada Kiss, T.I., and Erica Badu.
DJ has played with numerous musicians and groups such as Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Holiday, Barry Manilow, Dionne Farris, Wycliffe Gordon, Russell Gunn’s Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, Bumping the Mango, Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, and the Gregg Allman Legacy Band.
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