biography

 

 

The genre of contemporary jazz has taken many forms over the years, but its loyal fans have always stayed true to its roots. Lebron is one of those fans. It's only appropriate then that his style as an artist showcases the facets of smooth jazz that listeners love. Lebron was born into a family of musical talent, including his father who played the saxophone professionally as a way to pay for college. In other words, it's in his blood. Like most kids his age, he was exposed to popular instruments very early on, taking piano and guitar lessons for many years. But it wasn't until later that he would discover his true passion and voice in the saxophone. He recalls, "I went to an Earl Klugh concert with my mom when I was 12 years old, really on accident because my dad had the tickets but couldn't make it that night, so I went. The sax player in his band blew me away, and I knew right then and there that's what I wanted to do. The way he expressed himself and the reaction he got from the audience. I was hooked." That may be an understatement. A true obsession was formed, and the next day Lebron grabbed an old tenor saxophone from his dad's closet and started teaching himself. He continues, "I had to show my parents I was serious about this". Needless to say he excelled quickly, and was soon playing at a level equal to his peers who began playing years earlier. Eventually, Lebron began studying with some of the most prestigious players in Arizona, namely the lead alto player for Frank Sinatra's band, Hugh Lovelady. This led to him being selected, by audition, to lead some of the top young jazz players in the state in the Young Sounds of Arizona big band by age 15. Since then, Lebron has continued to grow as a musician and drawn influences from many sources to help him develop his unique style. "Honestly, my main musical influences were singers" he admits. Artists such as Wanya Morris, Brian McKnight, Phil Perry and Will Downing all influenced his way of phrasing, expression, and soloing. Not to mention his saxophone influences, including Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Everette Harp, Grover Washington Jr, and Nelson Rangell. To date, he has shared the stage with many of musics modern icons, including Kirk Whalum, George Benson, and Grammy winning bass player Mel Brown.

Lebron's debut record, "Shades", certainly took the world by storm. In a sea of sax players, it stood out as one of the top releases of the year, yielding 3 top 10 Billboard radio singles. "Groove City" peaked in the top 3, and was named in the top 20 Contemporary Jazz songs of the year by Billboard Magazine. But Lebron is not content to stop there. On the contrary, he's just getting started. His much anticipated sophomore album, "New Era", is sure to highlight his growth as an artist and as a player. "I wanted this record to really showcase my sound, my vibe", he explains. "I think this one just sounds more like ME, and MY voice." It features 10 all original tracks, from sultry ballads to infectious body moving grooves. Be sure to get your copy, because Contemporary Jazz isn't going anywhere. And neither is Lebron.