I don't just play the trumpet because it's something that resonates with me: I play the trumpet because I realize it's a means to help free a lot of people that ain't free.
At Mardi Gras, the different tribes will basically play war games, and so my brother is what you call a Flag Boy, which is more of less like a tribe's diplomat. He carries the game's standard and is really the line of where the game starts.
It's funny because as a composer, you want to hear your songs live on. I think a lot of times people will create a song and it becomes stagnant or something that they're no longer interested in playing, and they leave it alone.
Even if I have a good day, I still am aware of other people that are going through really hard, tumultuous things. I don't want to be the person who has a platform and neglects the things I see in my life and experiences.
It doesn't matter if I ever win another award or get to play another major jazz festival in America. I would rather not garner any of those things and speak honestly about the things that I see my people endure in this country and all over the world.
Man I mean, the great thing about playing clubs in Harlem is people have an appreciation not just for the music but for the history of the music.
I think a lot of musicians and artists are really one that really only have one trick.
I kind of prefer to be sort of ahead of the pack checking things out, priming the canvas, if you will, for the younger guys that are going to come up and try to make their own statements about what they feel and what they have to contribute.
New Orleans is a place where people are deliberately undereducated so that they can be a labour class - the economy there is tourism, and one of the only outlets that black males have traditionally been allowed is to play jazz music, y'know?
I came up with a 'forecasting cell,' which is basically a mixed intention cell or chord that is a complete hybrid of a consonance and a dissonance, and what that does when you are improvising is lead you to where you are supposed to go.
My main horn is a hybrid of a flugelhorn a coronet and a trumpet, but that's really because, for me, each instrument to me had a different voice, and I liked them all, but I didn't like any one of them singularly.
The music that I make, the younger musicians are referring to it as 'stretch' music.
I live in New York, but I'm gone 310, 320 days a year. My apartment is storage.
Depending on what you allow, you can still get the blues, man. I'm still trying to figure out where the blues really lies, where the street is.
The one thing that I've learned is that people don't change. Each new generation has the same stuff that the last one did. It's one of those things where jazz kind of works in five-year cycles.
If anyone ever tells me something doesn't go together, it makes me want to try it.
We didn't have much, but I was raised to believe if you had books, you had a lot. My grandfather and my parents made me and my twin brother Kiel read at least a book a week.
I wouldn't argue that anyone living can play the trumpet better than Wynton Marsalis.
You can't grow if you're going to say: 'The contributions of my predecessors are greater than anything I can ever achieve.' Each generation has to have a chance to find itself.
Jazz is really 20th-century fusion music. You take West African harmony and rhythm, mix with European harmony, and boom!
I hate the natural sound of the trumpet, but I think I'm naturally set up to be a trumpet player. I know that sounds weird. But pretty much anytime I play a note, I'm uncomfortable in a general sense.