Duane Eubanks simmers. Percolates. The jazz trumpeter/ composer/arranger/producer is a multi-talented force whose fiery blasts and sweet distinctive sound carry his horn into a musical space that defies categorization. There’s a gritty soul and passion that emphatically captures his Philadelphia roots on his most recent pair of albums as a bandleader: “Things of that Particular Nature” (2015-Sunnyside) and “DE3-Live at Maxwell’s (2016-Sunnyside).
“Duane is one of my all-time favorite brass men. One of the most honest musicians I've come across. He plays from the heart, coming from such a rich musical family tree." Roy Hargrove - Grammy Award winning trumpeter.
Duane studied jazz in master classes at Temple University with the legendary Dr. Billy Taylor. He cut to the chase and headed to New York. He was tapped by the great pianist Mulgrew Miller to join his ensemble, Wingspan. Acclaimed double-bassist/bandleader Dave Holland invited Duane to play with his big band on a pair of Grammy award winning albums. Eubanks became a hotly sought-after horn. He recorded and played with Elvin Jones, John Hicks, Curtis Fuller, Louis Hayes, Randy Brecker, Avery Sharpe and Nicholas Payton.
Jazz is his turf. His bloodline. That bloodline began with his mother, pianist Vera Eubanks. She was the illustrious Kenny Barron’s first piano teacher. His brothers are celebrated trombonist Robin Eubanks and guitarist Kevin Eubanks, the former leader of the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” band. Legendary pianist Ray Bryant is his uncle.
Yet, his jazz bloodline isn’t a border, but a gateway where he crossed over to play and record with Alicia Keys, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan, Freedom Williams, and Kirk Franklin. He has played the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center as well as toured throughout Europe, Japan, and the Middle-East.
"I Love Duane's playing! He means those notes. You hear that BADD Philly Legacy! Proudly all up in there!"
Wallace Roney - Grammy Award winning trumpeter.
The Philadelphia sound. Home to Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown. That’s where it all began for Duane. He began playing trumpet at 11 but didn’t consider music as a career until college. While studying for a business degree at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Duane joined the university’s jazz band. He became a prominent brass component and jump started himself into opportunities to play with jazz VIPs Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, Charles Fambrough and Clark Terry.
He performed admirably in master classes with Wynton Marsalis. Two years of private lessons with famed trumpeter Johnny Coles began Duane’s parallel interest in jazz as both a musician and educator. His first recording as a trumpeter came on brother Robin’s deft trombone session: “4: JJ/Slide, Curtis & Al”. Duane’s pungent sound and impassioned playing led to his own acclaimed debut, “My Shining Hour” (1999), followed up by “Second Take” two years later.
“Duane Eubanks as a trumpeter and composer has gone deep into the history of the music of his people. He has kept his shine on his instrument through the years. Duane got Soul!!” Grammy-nominated pianist Marc Cary.
He is a recipient of the 2013 Philadelphia Education Fund EDDY Award. Jazz education is a large focus for Duane when he’s not performing or touring. Private lessons from him is a way to mentor and inspire young musicians.