Stories

“I’ll be 60 this year. I was raised up in a time where there was a lot of jazz being played. So, jazz led me to play the trumpet and other instruments. When I was 5 years old, I seen jazz musicians on tv. Watching them make the sounds with the instruments, using their hands, I thought it was magic. I love how it always fits the scenery that you might be in when you hear it. Jazz just crowns any moment.  My music inspires me. I’m trying to start a band. I went a long time without playing the trumpet, so I’m really just getting back. They call it getting your lip back but I’ve been playing for a long time. I started out on piano but this is the instrument that I stuck with. I practiced every day. It was knack because in 18 months I was playing in a professional band. It was complicated jazz because I was playing by ear and by heart.  I’m facing a lot of struggles because I have to maintain my life. I can’t put a lot of energy and source finding into my music because this isn’t really a jazz town. This used to be a jazz town. There was world class jazz musicians that came here and played at this place called The Jazz Factory. World class jazz musicians appeared every week. Now, they’re not doing that anymore.  My advice to the world is to follow your heart, not your mind.” - Donnell, Portland

“I’ll be 60 this year. I was raised up in a time where there was a lot of jazz being played. So, jazz led me to play the trumpet and other instruments. When I was 5 years old, I seen jazz musicians on tv. Watching them make the sounds with the instruments, using their hands, I thought it was magic. I love how it always fits the scenery that you might be in when you hear it. Jazz just crowns any moment.

My music inspires me. I’m trying to start a band. I went a long time without playing the trumpet, so I’m really just getting back. They call it getting your lip back but I’ve been playing for a long time. I started out on piano but this is the instrument that I stuck with. I practiced every day. It was knack because in 18 months I was playing in a professional band. It was complicated jazz because I was playing by ear and by heart.

I’m facing a lot of struggles because I have to maintain my life. I can’t put a lot of energy and source finding into my music because this isn’t really a jazz town. This used to be a jazz town. There was world class jazz musicians that came here and played at this place called The Jazz Factory. World class jazz musicians appeared every week. Now, they’re not doing that anymore.

My advice to the world is to follow your heart, not your mind.” - Donnell, Portland