June 14, 2024

Rihanna may be the most famous Barbadian making worldwide headlines, but saxophonist/flautist Elan Trotman is another gifted islander who is bringing the Caribbean island’s culture to the masses via music. “Tropicality” chronicles Trotman’s journey from Barbados to Boston and celebrates the multihued beauty of the tropical paradise. Trotman and guitar star Peter White produced the 12-track set that was recorded in Barbados, Boston and Los Angeles and includes performances by a stellar array of musicians from around the world.

The inherent difficulty for instrumentalists is to “speak” without words, hence Trotman’s challenge to speak volumes through melodic riffs, rhythms and grooves that tell his personal story and share his ardor for his homeland. He wrote or co-wrote seven of the collection’s nine originals and selected a few fitting covers, including the first single prefacing the album at radio, a rollicking rendition of Stevie Wonder’s reggae-inflected “Master Blaster.” Recording in three widely diverse cities afforded Trotman the opportunity to draw upon an international talent pool that boasts compatriot Barbados-born bassist/producer Nicholas Brancker, British guitarist White, French guitarist U-Nam, Brazilian guitar marvel Fabiano Da Silva, Aruban guitarist Serghio Jansen, Cuban percussionist Luis Conte, and an accomplished American contingent consisting of keyboardist/producer Jeff Lorber, guitarist/producer Paul Brown, guitarist Nick Colionne, drummers Terri Lyne Carrington, Ricky Lawson and Tony Moore, trumpeter Lin Rountree, bassist Alex Al and percussionist Lenny Castro.

“This album is very special to me as I’ve always wanted to showcase my Caribbean heritage through my music. We ‘islanders’ are happy people by nature and that quality has always been evident by the way our music grooves. As a child, I spent countless hours at the beach swimming and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the western and southern coasts of Barbados. On a recent visit back home, I began to compose these songs as I walked on those same beaches. My musical journey really began when I left my homeland to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. ‘Tropicality’ is the story of that journey from ‘Bridgetown to Beantown,’ and I’m very fortunate to have some close friends from across the globe join me on this project. My original compositions feature rhythms and grooves not just from Barbados, but from other Caribbean Islands, Cape Verde, and Latin America,” said Trotman, who will launch the album with concerts in the three cities in which it was recorded beginning with a January 20th show in Barbados at the Prime Minister’s home of Illaro Court with Lorber as special guest followed by a February 21st gig at Scullers Jazz Club in his adopted hometown of Boston and a March 1st date at Spaghettini’s near Los Angeles.

“Tropicality” is Trotman’s sixth solo album and follows the success of 2011’s “Love and Sax,” a Billboard Top 20 contemporary jazz album that spawned the single, “Heaven In Your Eyes,” a duet with keyboardist Brian Simpson, which reached #11 on Billboard’s jazz songs chart. Trotman has lent his soulful horn flair to recordings and shared the concert stage with an extraordinary assortment of marquee musicians including Roberta Flack, Patti Austin, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Earl Klugh, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Brian McKnight, Jamie Foxx, Johnny Gill, Nathan East, Gerald Veasley, Don Grusin, Keiko Matsui, Raul Midon and fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, and Najee. He is a three-time winner of the New England Urban Music Award as Best Jazz Male, the 2011 Barbados Music Awards Instrumentalist of the Year, and was twice nominated for a Boston Music Award. Growing up influenced by seminal sax legend Grover Washington Jr. and mentored by Barbadian sax man Arturo Tappin, Trotman received a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music courtesy of the government of Barbados. He shares his knowledge by teaching music in the Boston school district when not touring or recording. Additional information is available at www.elantrotman.com.

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