Saunders Sermons
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Saunders Sermons

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Jazz Soul

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review - Conn Selmer


a review - Mimi Soul


Saunders Sermons is one of the most laid back dude’s I’ve ever met. After 5 minutes of casual conversation you will pick it up in his speech pattern, his choice of words, and his demeanor. Slide, Saunders’ nickname as he is a trombone player as well as a singer, is one cool brother.

I met him in a recording studio session in New York with Coco Brown this winter. Saunders was recording a hook for an upcoming release Coco was preparing. Layer after layer, the tedium of the recording process can often be like watching paint dry, but before long the art began to show. The finished product was beautiful.

Classic Delight is Saunders’ album, consisting of only 7 tracks, housed behind a simple unassuming cover. The album is a consistent reflection of the artists personality; as the music is smooth, contemplative, vocal jazz. In his covers of “Gee Baby” and “Straighten up and Fly Right” Saunders sounds like an artist made for another time. He and his band’s vocal and instrumental execution is excellent.

Classic Delight is an unexpected surprise. The album is best described as subtly addictive as it plays in our office often on repeat. People pass me on the way to the coffee pot humming the songs. Its dope. Pick it up.
- Alumni RoundUp


Jazzy goodness from Saunders Sermons – a damn great talent we're happy to be hearing – and just the sort of artist we need to keep things fresh in the contemporary soul underground! Sermons plays trombone on the record, as well as sings, and that mix of talents definitely comes through in his sound – as his vocals have a great sense of inflection – almost a jazz-trained approach, but one that's solidly grounded in Neo Soul elements too. Most instrumentation is live – arranged by pianist Jon Notar, and beautifully blended from alto sax, trumpet, piano, and just a touch of strings – a classic delight at points, but with a wickedly contemporary feel too. The set's a stunner – giving us the same sort of fresh energy we got when first hearing artists like D'Angelo or Eric Roberson – and titles include "Day Dreaming", "Don't You Understand", "Most Beautiful", "Gee Baby", "I Need", and "In A Sentimental Mood". - Dusty Groove


I love surprises. Especially if music is involved. So imagine my sheer delight when SoulBounce fave Saunders Sermons blessed my inbox with this new song of his featuring none other than our extended fam and The Foreign Exchange's femme fatale, YahZarah. Saunders and YahZarah combined forces to record "You Got A Hold On Me," which will be found on his forthcoming release, Just What She Needs, and they are delicious duet partners. A danceable jam, this is a more uptempo track than we're used to hearing from Sermons, but it works and only goes to show that anything he creates is an automatic win. Hearing these two on this song only makes me want to hear more duets from them. Wishful thinking, I know, but it could happen. Something else that needs to happen is for you to press play below and bounce into the weekend to this. - Soul Bounce


Speaking on the laundry list of Hip Hop and R &B heavyweights (hmmm, more like mega weights) he’s been privileged to work with, Saunders Sermons proves even the tremendously talented can manage to stay humble in this game, while simultaneously seeking to perfect their God-given talent. Charming and funny (a testament to his Southern gentleman roots, we like to think!), Sermons shares with Chanel Laren why he’s still in the game, and how he plans to continue to evolve. His song “In a Sentimental Mood” is reminiscent of a throwback joint from the 90s classic movie, Love Jones. His album comes out this month (buy two copies!!), and in the mean and in between time, check out his music at www.saundersermon.com!

Chanel Laren: You play the trombone, you are a songwriter and you sing. Please take us on the journey of how it all started.

Saunders Sermons: I started playing music in the church. My grandfather was a bishop in the Bronx; I kind of fell in love with the drums. That was my first interest in music and that’s when I knew I was going to be a musician. I started when I was five years old and now I’m 29 years old. I started singing, playing the drums and [playing] the trombone when I was 16 years old. When I picked the trombone, I [actually] signed up to play the drums, but the band director was like ,”no everybody is playing the drums, why don’t you play the trombone”. It’s been a great journey playing the trombone because there aren’t a lot of people who play it cool…they play it loud and old school, kinda like New Orleans. But I’ve mastered my own sound; kinda sounds like the saxophone and the trumpet. And the fact that I sing helps me become so lyrical.

CL: How did you get your professional start?

SS: I tried out for P. Diddy’s band when he came out with the album Press Play. I did a couple [of] TV shows with him and then I played with him on his European tour. I played with Diddy and Snoop, and Diddy referred me to Jay Z. I got the privilege to play the horns on the song “Rock Boys” with Jay. Then from there I got the opportunity to do gigs with Mary J. Blige and I played with 50 Cent in New York. Then I played with Fantasia and Missy on Fantasia’s song “Two Weeks Notice”.

CL: You make it sound so easy. Like “yea I’ve played with Diddy, Jay, Mary and 50? like its nothing!

SS: In the beginning, I was always playing in night clubs in Miami and all over Florida. I moved to New York in 2005 on the search to broaden my career. I ran into a couple of people and began networking. I attended the New School University which is an all-music jazz school, so that school has helped me broaden my horizons. It sounds easy but it wasn’t in the beginning. Now it’s like a snowball effect. You go from one giant to the next giant. [And] you want to branch off so you can become your own giant.

CL: What’s your first love, singing or playing the trombone? You started playing the trombone by default but you learned to love it. What’s your favorite?

SS: I would sing. If I could be the best singer in the world I would put down the trombone and I wouldn’t even play the drums. I like singing better; it speaks to people more than the horn. People want things they can relate to. I did a gig in New York where I played the trombone for about 15 people and then I pulled this singing thing out the bag and people started pouring in. People want to relate to a voice, especially when you have a nice tone.

CL: How do you decide when you want to sing and when you want to pull the trombone out?

SS: That’s the easy part; I’ve been an instrumentalist for so long now. Like back in the day, cats used to take the solo…they’d sing and they’d have the trumpet player play and then they’d go back into singing. I’ve come up with a concept with my songs where I can do a 3 minute solo and jump back into the vocals. I put it together old school style.

CL: Your first album is entitled Classic Delight and the second is Soul Searching. Tell us about them.

SS: [Well] Soul Searching was an album concept that I was going to do, but it never came out. My second which is my next album is called Just What She Needs. It’s going to be real grown and sexy. I’ve taken what’s going on today and what’s going on tomorrow and putting it together in a way where it’s speaking to the ladies. My first single is about marriage in the smoothest kind of way. I’ve never heard anybody put it like I have. The song is incredible! I’ve been on the road with Maxwell, one of the masters of keeping it sexy for the ladies. I kind of learned what women want.

CL: While touring with Maxwell, did he give you any advice?

SS: I’m cool with Maxwell, we talk. Watching him and seeing how his entourage works, and management is pure genius. It’s like watching ART. They know they have this amazing guy that can sing and women love him. I’ve watched him sing to women and just bring them in. It’s definitely a craft. It’s pure icing on the cake working with t - Unrelated Family


Brooklyn never sounded so elegant. This jazzy soul of Classic Delight is sophistication personified. You’ve famously heard Saunders Sermons as the trombonist on Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night, Jay-Z’s American Gangster and newcomer Laura Izibor’s Let The Truth Be Told. The New School musician has also done his share of straight ahead jazz with young greats like Roy Hargrove. Sermons’ brings to bear all these different influences, from jazz and R&B to hip hop and retro soul, on his debut, Classic Delight. Lilting minimalism not heard since PJ Morton’s near classic debut, Emotions, this Michael Franks vocal acolyte delivers music as soothing as a cup of chamomile on a blistery winter’s night. Rev up your iTunes and take a listen to the mood changer, “Most Beautiful (feat. Lee Hogan),” or the blues cry from “Don’t You Understand,” and see if you don’t devoutly study these love sermons. - Centric TV


Miami native Saunders Sermons first love may have been singing, but it quickly encompassed Jazz as well when he picked up the trombone at the tender age of 11. Currently touring with Maxwell, Saunders' MySpace page proudly boasts "I worked with all my top friends. Have you?" He's not one to rest on his laurels, obviously, but his bragging and boasting is justified. He can name Jill Scott, Diddy, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, and countless others as his past collaborators. So you're not still impressed? Then I'll say this: despite our varied musical tastes, every last one of SoulBounce's editors and extended family have been loving this like cooked food. And since copping his latest album Classic Delight, I have been listening to the two songs below daily at least three times each. Get yourself better acquainted with Saunders and you'll be doubly rewarded. - Soul Bounce


Discography

Day Dreaming
Don't You Understand
Straighten Up And Fly Right
I Need
Gee Baby
In A Sentimental Mood (Feat. Casey Benjamin)
Most Beautiful (Feat. Lee Hogans)

Photos

Bio

Two-time Grammy award winning singer/songwriter/trombonist Saunders Sermons is a

world traveled, highly sought out artist who has toured with the greatest in the music industry.

Saunders has graced stages and arenas with his

soulful vocal and trombone performances professionally for over 13 years. His upbringings in

the eclectic art and culture of Miami contributes to his versatility as an artist and longevity in his

Moving to New York City he was accepted on scholarship into the competitive New

School University in New York City; the jazz mecca of the world. In the place known as the

center for finance, arts and entertainment his career sky rocketed. After impressing and being

hired to tour and record around the world with Roy Hargrove, Mike Phillips, Sean “Diddy”

Combs,

Jay-Z and Maxwell; Saunders was a man hard to ignore.

include touring Japan and playing on the Roy Hargrove’s album Emergence, playing with Mike

Phillips at Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in Miami Gardens, F.L. in 2008, in 2006 touring

with Diddy to over 21 countries in Europe for the album Press Play and touring and recording on

the album American Gangster with Jay-Z. Saunders’ noticeable talents led to further extensive

touring and discography credits with Grammy award winner and platinum recording artist

Maxwell for BLACKsummers’night from 2008-2010. He also recorded on Fantasia’s album Two

Weeks Notice and Kenny Lattimore’s Timeless. Television appearances for Saunders Sermons

include performing on Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and 106 & Park on separate

occasions with both Jay-Z and Diddy. He has also been on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dancing

with the Stars with Maxwell and VH1 Storytellers separately with Maxwell, Mary J Blige and

Vocally he is featured on the albums of Nicholas Payton’s Flip the Script, Jessy J‘s Hot

Sauce and Grammy award winning band Tedeschi Trucks’ live album Everybody's Talkin’ to

name a few. Making his mark with the Tedeschi Trucks band from 2010 to the present, he has

toured for the sixth time overseas since his start as a professional musician. This time touring

over twenty-six countries in Asia, South America and Europe as well as appearing on the Conan

O‘Brien and the Tonight Show for the album Revelator (Sony Masterworks, Tedeschi Trucks

band). With the Tedeschi Trucks band he won his second Grammy to date. Saunders is a gem in

this impressive and extremely in high demand band as the versatile soulful trombonist/singer

addition to the group.

(Medea Gets a Job) Je’Caryous Johnson with I’m Ready Productions (The Maintenance Man, a

stage play based off of Michael Baisden’s best seller), touring with double platinum overseas

recording artist Ayo, playing on Jose James album Lay You Down as well as musical

collaborations with various indie artists.

In 2009 Saunders Sermons stepped out on his own with his jazz EP Classic Delight

getting him features on JazzTimes, The Jazz Corner, Mi2N (Music Industry New Network),

SoulBounce, Soul Tracks, All About Jazz and consistent radio play in New York, NJ, Atlanta and

Japan. All About Jazz writes “(the Classic Delight EP).. balances the old and the new, longing

for the bittersweet crooning of Nat King Cole but with an open ear for Prince's contemporary

R&B textures.” - All About Jazz . His recently released R&B project Just What She Needs has

already received critical acclaim on Soul Tracks as an honorable mention on the Critics Pick of

the Best of 2012 after dropping very late in the year. L. Michael Gipson of Soul Tracks writes

Additional mentionable credits also include touring with Tyler Perry

“With well-deserved indie street cred, mainstream pounds and a penchant for the catchy and the

commercial, on Just What She Needs, Saunders Sermons boldly shows innovation-seeking soul

fans he may be just what they’ve been needing too. Highly Recommended” - L. Michael Gipson,

Soul Tracks (12-15-2012)

We’ve heard Saunders Sermons on the albums of some of the best in the business, his

singing has been compared to the legends of John Legend, Nat King Cole and Stevie Wonder.

Now let us follow Sermons on his own musical journey as he transcribes his solo career and

Classic Delight is now available on iTunes, Amazon and

CDBaby. Follow Saunders Sermons on Twitter: twitter.com/saunderssermons

For booking info please contact:

booking for saunders.sermons@gmail.com