He drops a tribute album, “Dear Marvin,” on April 2, the iconic crooner’s 80th birthday. The first single, “Got To Give It Up,” is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week.
BOSTON (20 March 2019): Sax salutes sexy soul on Elan Trotman’s “Dear Marvin,” a collection of ten of Marvin Gaye’s best-loved songs that drops on April 2, the late legendary R&B singer’s 80th birthday. Preceding the set’s arrival is the single “Got To Give It Up,” a vibrant reboot of one of Gaye’s funky dance tracks that is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week as an instrumental from the Woodward Avenue Records album produced by Charles Haynes (Marcus Miller, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah) and Trotman.
“It’s amazing how this project came about. ‘Got To Give It Up’ has been a huge part of my live show for the past two years and has always been a crowd favorite. That is just one of the many factors that inspired me to record the song and to dig deeper into Marvin’s catalogue and life story. I had no idea that his 80th birthday would be coming up around our time of completing the album, but once I found out, I knew we had to release it on April 2 to mark the occasion,” said Trotman, an award-winning saxophonist who has topped the Billboard singles chart more than ten times.
In reimagining Gaye’s catalogue in instrumental form, Trotman shares the spotlight on “Dear Marvin,” with premier soloists, including Grammy-winning keyboardist Jeff Lorber, seminal urban-jazz flautist Najee, esteemed trumpeter Patches Stewart, soul-jazz-hip hop-funk trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and veteran guitarist Sherrod Barnes. Trotman strategically deploys vocals to illumine a few key tracks. Ray Greene (Santana, Tower of Power) begs on “Mercy Mercy Me”; rapper Obadele Thompson plies his come-on skills to “I Want You”; and Tim “Smithsoneon” Smith provides the cure through “Sexual Healing.” Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra enhance a pair of tracks with strings. Including Haynes, Trotman’s core collaborators are his former colleagues from Berklee College of Music: keyboardist Mitch Henry (Marsha Ambrosius), bassists Kyle Miles and Keithen Foster (H.E.R.), and percussionist Atticus Cole.
“It’s been an honor to be able to share my interpretations of some of Marvin’s classics. As with all cover projects, I made an extra effort to learn lyrics and storylines for each composition in order to truly understand his interpretations and performances on each song,” said the Boston-based Trotman, who is planning to be in Los Angeles on April 2 for an 11am ceremony held by the United States Postal Service at The Greek Theatre to celebrate the release of the Marvin Gaye commemorative Forever stamp.
“We, Marvin's family, heard about Elan doing a musical tribute to Marvin. We are very pleased with his album 'Dear Marvin,' and are so happy that it will be released on his birthday, April 2. The musicians are all incredible! Thank you, Elan Trotman. Job well done,” said Janis Gaye, Gaye’s second wife.
“Dear Marvin,” is Trotman’s eighth album and second on the Woodward Avenue Records imprint. The label issued the saxophone-flute player’s 2013 disc, “Tropicality,” an autobiographical album that colors contemporary jazz with native sounds from Trotman’s homeland, Barbados. Trotman curates, produces and hosts the Barbados Jazz Excursion and Golf Weekend annually over Columbus Day Weekend with the sixth edition taking place this October 10-14. Bringing that winning formula closer to home, he will launch the first annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Excursion and Golf Weekend in Oak Bluffs, MA on June 28-30. To support the album release, Trotman will perform at festivals, theaters and nightclubs through October beginning with the prestigious Boscov’s Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, PA on April 5.
“Dear Marvin,” contains the following songs:
“Inner City Blues” featuring Sherrod Barnes
“Got To Give It Up”
“Distant Lover” featuring Patches Stewart
“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”
“Mercy Mercy Me” featuring Ray Greene
“I Want You” featuring Obadele Thompson
“Sexual Healing” featuring “Smithsoneon”
“After The Dance” featuring Najee
“Trouble Man” featuring Jeff Lorber
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” featuring Jeff Bradshaw
For more information, please visit http://elantrotman.com.
Soul-jazz saxman Elan Trotman will host his fourth annual Barbados Jazz Excursion with a festival lineup featuring Will Downing, Norman Brown, Alison Hinds, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn.
BOSTON (11 May 2017): Bigger but simpler. That's the mandate soul-jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman adopted for his flourishing music festival and benefit golf tournament in his native Barbados. Festivalgoers that flock to the fourth annual Barbados Jazz Excursion this Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-8, 2017) will be treated to the biggest and best lineup of contemporary jazz and R&B artists yet assembled at the fest along with a simplified schedule that allows more time to discover the alluring tropical beauty of the Caribbean island. For the second year, Trotman's Charity Golf Outing will benefit the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Headstart Music Program in Barbados.
Top-lining the Barbados Jazz Excursion's opening night marquee is Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown, who will share the bill with urban-jazz saxplayer Jeanette Harris and rising star bassist Julian Vaughn. Trotman & Friends, including Barbadian Alison Hinds - known as the Queen of Soca - will be presented in an outdoor setting on the afternoon of day two, concluding pre-sundown to give excursioners the entire evening to discover Barbados' many dining and nightlife options. Sunday morning, the golfers will hit the wondrous and challenging greens of the Apes Hill Club. The Sunday evening bill will feature Grammy-nominated soul vocalist Will Downing, R&B-jazz saxophonist Marion Meadows and contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Simpson. The weekend shall conclude with a late night all-star jam session.
"Each year that we have produced the Barbados Jazz Excursion has been a learning experience. We want to ensure that our guests' experience is better and better by presenting a topnotch lineup, amazing entertainment and first-class luxury accommodations. What gives the weekend more meaning and significance is that we have a nonprofit golf tournament attached thus the events are not just an opportunity to share my country, my culture and my story, but also an opportunity to introduce people to the charity I support that provides music education for elementary school students in Barbados," said Trotman, who recently released his seventh album, "Electro Sax," a collection that continues his commitment to incorporate authentic Caribbean sounds into a mix of contemporary jazz and R&B grooves.
Introducing guests to Barbados has always been at the fore of Trotman's festival weekend. With that in mind, this fall's schedule and menu of excursions has been simplified to allow festivalgoers the flexibility to build their own itinerary along with the option to spend more time enjoying the array of amenities and plush accommodations at one of the three host resorts: The Crane, Hilton Barbados Resort and O2: Ocean Two. New for this year is that the Island Adventure Tour visiting scenic and historic locales is now included with the purchase of any festival package. Other exciting excursions on offer are the award-winning Atlantis Submarines Undersea Adventure; the Jolly Roger Lunch Party Cruise that serves up a sumptuous feast and world-famous Jolly Roger Rum Punch while observing sea creatures and sailing past sunken ships; exploring the natural wonders of Harrison's Cave; and a chance to literally taste Barbados history at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery.
The beneficiary of the golf tournament that is expected to include several music and sports celebrity participants, Trotman's Never Lose Your Drive Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that generates funds to support the Headstart Music Program in Barbados, which provides lessons and instruments to students at the beginner's level.
For more information or to purchase a Barbados Jazz Excursion package, please visit http://barbadosjazzexcursion.com/.
The “Electro Sax” album is released as the tropical “Island Gal’” prepares to charm radio.
BOSTON (24 April 2017): Saxophonist Elan Trotman is unwavering in his committed to wave the flag high for Caribbean music, but after releasing six soul-jazz albums and more than ten chart-topping singles that made him a permanent fixture on radio playlists, the Barbados native is “shaking it up” by going electronic on “Electro Sax,” his seventh outing which was released last Friday (April 21) by Island Muzik Productions.
Seeking a “hip radio sound that will reach beyond the masses,” Trotman assembled a creative team of up-and-coming producers – Spardakis, P-Nut, Dr. O and Da Troof - who he met at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and tasked them with putting a fresh, modern twist on the eleven new tracks that he wrote for the collection. With electronic elements evident in the production of Trotman’s tenor and soprano sax and the adventurous EDM sonicscapes, the result is an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox and JJ Sansavarino, and steel pan player Kareem Thompson. The first single set to seduce radio is the reggae-infused “Island Gal’,” which spotlights Trotman on soprano sax on the cut he describes as having “a sexy vibe to it.” Princefans will appreciate the balladic tribute “Purple Emotion” that closes the set. The session’s lone cover is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash “Shut Up and Dance.”
“’Electro Sax’ is a true representation of where I am at in my career. It’s modern sounding with prominent hints of the island. It’s also about branching out, reaching out by making good music for the masses. It’ll definitely ruffle feathers, but that is part of being an artist - pushing boundaries and perhaps establishing new ones,” said Trotman. “The ‘tropicality’ elements are part of who I am and I’m sticking with it. It’ll always be part of my sound and I believe in it. It is part of my brand and it’s authentic to my (Barbadian) roots.”
Trotman showcases and shares the culture of his homeland at his annual Barbados Jazz Excursion, slated to take place on the Caribbean island for the fourth time in October over Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-9, 2017). The saxman performs and hosts the music festival and golf tournament that benefits his nonprofit Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Head Start Music Program in Barbados. Slated to perform this year are R&B and contemporary jazz mainstays Will Downing, Norman Brown, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn as well as the Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds.
Earning a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music from the government of Barbados, Trotman has lived in Boston ever since. Named the Jazz Artist of the Year on multiple occasions by the New England Urban Music Awards and the Barbados Music Awards, he debuted as a solo artist in 2009 with “This Time Around.” Subsequent albums featured collaborations with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum, Terri Lyne Carrington and Paul Brown as well as Downing, Peter White, Jeff Lorber, Cindy Bradley, Tony Terry and Simpson. Trotman has also guested on Billboard No. 1 hits by Meadows, Simpson, Vaughn, Greg Manning and Cal Harris. He’s a popular draw on the festival and club circuit. For more information, please visit www.elantrotman.com.
The songs on “Electro Sax” are:
“Shut Up and Dance”
“Up In The Clouds”
“No Need For Trippin’”