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About Andrae Murchison

Born and raised in the soulful roots of Savannah, Georgia., Andrae Murchison grew up surrounded by traditional gospel music at home and in church. He first experienced playing music at The United House of Prayer as a drummer alongside his grandfathers lead vocals. The UHOP brass bands introduced him to the trombone around the age of nine. The power of the music touched his soul and was the beginning to his musical journey as a trombonist and composer.

Murchison moved on to study music fundamentals, trombone, and baritone in the school band from Hugh Johnson. He first experienced playing jazz while performing with the Savannah High School Blue Light Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Hutchinson, and sitting in with his mentor Teddy Adams, and local all-stars Doug Carn, Delbert Felix, and Eric Vaughn. While attending the Savannah Arts Academy, Murchison became seriously interested in jazz after being selected for the Georgia All-State Jazz Band in 1999. After graduating high school, he took the initiative to study under the finest musicians and institutions in the business. His most influential mentors are Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Ron Westray, Robin Eubanks, Donald Byrd, Wendell Logan, and Steve Turre. He went on to recieve a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters Degree in Arts from Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College.

Since his arrival to New York City, he has performed with Roy Hargrove, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, Abdullah Ibrahim, The Skatalites, Gregory Porter, Monty Alexander, Ravi Coltrane and many more. Murchison tours the world as a successful sideman and also leads his own ensemble called "Murch Church". In addition to performing, Murchison has served as a jazz clinician and low brass specialist at numerous institutions and communities around the world.

Murchison's schooling continues at "The university of streets", which has granted him the opportunity to work and study alongside Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick Jr., Kim Burrell, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blidge, Common, Dennis Edwards and The Temptations, Four Tops, Brian McKnight, Ledisi, and many others. He has also performed at The Montreuax Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz Festival, WOMAD, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Jamaica Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival, The Letterman Show, and numerous festivals, concert halls, and venues worldwide.

AM's role as a sideman prepares him for the pursuit of his own musical and spiritual vision. So far, he has recorded and produced three albums as a leader. His compositions document his journey, and is a honest testimony about where he comes from. Murch's music is a mixture of southern blues, gospel, soul, jazz, reggae, and funk. As Murch steps further into the rhythm of his ministry. He strives to bring the soul of the church to the streets, preserve his southern roots, and be a positive voice of love, healing, and freedom in the world.

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From: Teddy Adams
Andrae Murchison is an ideal example of the "Young Lion" trombonists who has become a part of the Jazz scene in the past fifteen to twenty years. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever seriously heard him play. There are several significant reasons for Andrae's development in becoming one of today's established Jazz trombonists. The following reasons are just a part of his overall makeup. First and foremost is his innateness (essential, cannot be learned), enough said. Other important influences include legacy, exposure and spirituality.
James Young (Trummy Young) who was an integral part of the swing era and featured with Louis Armstrong for more years for more years than any other trombonist, is a Savannahian. That fact should be enough to support Andrae's success as an imaginative and creative player. Add to that other Savannahians who include: Jabbo Smith, James Moody, Sahib Shihab, Ben Riley, Irene Reid, Johnny Mercer, Kaiser Marshall, Willie Draper, Ed Pazant, George Harper and a host of others and Savannah's Jazz legacy becomes quite lucid. The Jazz legacy in Savannah includes several other important aspects: Savannah is a thriving southern seaport city, its music history independently parallels that of New Orleans, it had a strong Jazz presence and numerous venues for playing, three military installations with bands and most importantly, native Savannahians took a sincere interest in young players who were serious and showed promise.

Exposure and spiritually were hand in hand experiences that Andrae embraced simultaneously. The United House of Prayer for All People (holiness church organization), started in 1927 by Bishop Charles Manuel Grace, aka, "Sweet Daddy" Grace, is known for its musical spirituality with the strongest focus being on brass instruments and singing. Although its bands are comprised of all types of instruments the trombone is predominant. Andrae's grandfather was a devoted member of the House of Prayer and Andrae attended church regularly with him. Not only were trombones the predominant instruments, but Andrae was intrigued by their brilliance and power. If you have ever experienced trombone playing in any of churches(Southeast/Northeast coasts from Florida to New York), two aspects of trombone playing will certainly get your attention......the stamina of the trombonist and the mastery of the altissimo range. Trombone playing in the United House of Prayer churches is far more spiritual than technical, not taking anything from the technique.

When you combine Andrae's association with the United House of Prayer, the legacy that Savannah is known for and the exposure to teaching and dedicated mentors, this writer, being one of them, Andrae's development is proof positive of outstanding results. With two of the better Jazz schools under his belt, Oberlin and Queens Colleges and being a part of today's Jazz scene performing with the likes of the Ellington and Basie Bands, Roy Hargrove, Abdullah Ibrahim, the Skatalites Band and a host of others. Andrae Murchison's place in the Jazz world as an innovative trombonist and composer is assured. I'm most pleased that he passed my way while embarking upon his musical journey.

Teddy Adams| Email: slydski@aol.com

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