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TSJR’s Featured Smooth Jazz Artist

A profile of our selected smooth jazz artist of the month

Because we appreciate the talents and hard work of all of the many artists in our beloved smooth jazz genre, TSJR has made it a standard practice to highlight and honor one artist each month who has established himself or herself as an integral part of the smooth/contemporary jazz “engine.”

This month, we honor:

Lin Rountree – The Soul Trumpeter and The Dazzle of Soul-Jazz

Lin Rountree aka The Soul-Trumpeter really needs no introduction as he has wowed audiences everywhere with his signature blend of the hybrid soul-jazz. Having cranked out 6 solo projects, 12 chart-topping Billboard singles (Including his Billboard #1 hit “Pass The Groove” from his latest 2018 release Stronger Still) and numerous collaborations with some of the industry’s top R&B/Contemporary Jazz artists to his credit, the engaging trumpeter has established himself as a powerful artist with great presence.

Rountree and his music represent a new direction and a new generation in instrumental soul. In fact, as a polished songwriter, producer and recording artist, an outstanding live performer, and a consummate and gracious professional, he is seen as a leader amongst a new generation of Soul- Jazz artists.

Rountree began playing the trumpet in Alexandria VA., when he was just 11 yrs. old and frequently attended music development programs at The Duke Ellington School for performing arts in Washington DC. Upon his graduation from high school, Rountree was recruited into the Music program at Florida A&M University where he performed with the famed Marching 100 under the direction of William P. Foster and Dr. Julian White. During this time, he developed a deep appreciation for Jazz music and began studying some of its masters, citing trumpeters Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and Tom Browne as huge influences on both his playing and writing styles.

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from FAMU, the trumpeter moved to Detroit, MI where he formed a band and performed extensively throughout the region.

In 2004, Rountree released his debut release on BDK Records called Groovetree which produced the chart-topping Billboard hit “For Your Love” and “Candie.” In 2008, he followed that album with another BDK release called Sumthin’ Good which produced two more chart-toppers in the form of the title track and “Seldom Sunday.”

The success of these records afforded Lin the chance to travel and perform all over the world, as well as the opportunity to play and record with some of the industry’s top musicians including George Benson, Tim Bowman, Kem, Dwele, and Conya Doss, among others.

After BDK Records was dissolved in 2010, Rountree continued to push forward and self-released Soul-Tree – The Soul-Jazz Experience in 2011. The R&B/Soul-based jazz project was written and produced by Rountree along with Dana Davis, Jeff Canady, Tony Gordon, and Monica Marie Jones. The record features R&B sensations Conya Doss, L’Renee, Aaron “AB” Abernathy, Valencia, Michele Nicole, LaRae Starr and Kendrick Jackson, flautist Althea Renee, pianist Gail Jhonson, and renowned guitarist Darryl Dixon.

Thoroughly impressed by the Rountree persona and groove, Trippin’ N Rhythm Records pursued and soon signed this trumpet wonder who has since written, co-produced, and recorded three more projects: Serendipitous, Soulfunky, and his current Stronger Still release.

Proud of its acquisition of this major talent, Trippin’ N Rhythm says of Rountree: “His hip vibe and soulful sound find a perfect fit here and is sure to assist in bringing the cool factor back to this genre….the future looks bright for contemporary jazz as we continue to attract fresh young artists of this caliber and Lin’s star will surely help light the way.” I doubt that few will argue with this assessment. Just listen to the musical “paintbrush” as this trumpeter-artist strokes the canvas with the power of this new soul-jazz experience that he’s helped create. – Ronald Jackson

To view Lin Rountree’s complete discography, visit www.linrountreemusic.com.