Jackiem Joyner the Lil Man Soul
Performs Live at the 28th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival
By Patrick Harris
[dropcap size=small]S[/dropcap]ince bursting on the Contemporary Jazz scene with his 2007 project Babysoul, Jackiem Joyner has reached number 1 on the Billboard chart twice and the Top 3 two more times. Given the moniker “Lil Man Soul,” while performing with both Marcus Johnson and Bobby Lyle, Jackiem Joyner has toured the world with the likes of Keiko Matsui, Marc Antoine. In addition to his music, Joyner, a self-professed lover of Sci-Fi films is publishing his first Science Fiction novel later this year. ULM: What made you realize that music was your path in life? JJ: It started for me at an early age I was always faciniated by hearing the choir sing. I recall going to church at about 11 years of age and looking at the piano player play on the piano, the keyboard and in high school I my music teacher introduced me to some woodwind instruments and let me choose what I wanted to play and I chose the saxaphone because it looked like the brightest, most expensive instrument that the school had. It really kinda fell into my lap and naturally I began listening to John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Grover Washington and it became a really cool thing. I started practicing and it became a passion. ULM: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
JJ: Well my sound is R & B influenced with a little bit of world. My latest CD which is Evolve is a CD that is all original tunes and a lot of people say that it has a world vibe to it but it has this Urban undertone that you can’t escape with the smooth sound of the saxaphone which puts me in my own little area because its not 100% pop, its not 100% R & B, its like its own thing. You can definitely feel the beat its in there but at the same time the way that I use percussion with my instruments reflects of a world sound and also the piano with some of the organic uses of chello and violin is also very influential in my music. So I wouldn’t give it one set genre, that would kind of restrict it. ULM: The title of your latest project is Evolve, how have you evolved since breaking into the music scene?
JJ: That’s what the whole record Evolve is about. I have evolved. I’m coming into my own tone and even my own style of writing, you can pick it out from other styles of writing and basically growing as a musician and writer. Even through touring, watching the other greats perform like Keiko Matsui and Jonathan Butler, taking all of that in as an artist puts me in position that I’m in today. ULM: What can you say about your experiences the Long Beach Jazz Festival? JJ: I really like the Long Beach Jazz Festival for one there are so many people there from all over the state to see the festival. It a big audience for Contemporary Jazz acts like myself and I will be performing with Brian Simpson and Marc Antoine and I’ll see a lot of my friends. I will be performing at the 28th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival for two days. On the second day, I will be with Keiko Matsui so I’ll have an opportunity to see a lot of my friends like Gerald Albright and Brian Culbertson. It’s going to be a lot of fun.