Tony Exum, Jr
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Tony Exum, Jr

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Band Jazz R&B

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It was in Mississippi in 1986 that Larry Francis Jr., a former musician in Fort Carson's band, gave his nephew an old alto saxophone.

Tony Exum Jr. was only 10 when his uncle passed along that gift, but quickly excelled with it. At 18, he began studies at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, where he worked with a number of musicians as a studio saxophonist and then branched out into live performances. Blending the styles of Grover Washington Jr., David Sanborn, Kenny G and others, Exum plays mostly jazz today, though hip-hop remains his "first love."

Exum's clips on YouTube showcase shamelessly passionate solos and soulful jams with his bandmates. So as you might guess, he says he doesn't limit his music to the stage.

"I was never afraid to play for anybody," he says, recounting times when he would spontaneously play in places not commonly known for their concert appeal, like a Denny's.

Today, the full-time musician with nationally produced CDs performs locally regularly. He calls himself "a semi-native"; though he grew up between Mississippi, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Germany, he was born here.

Himself now a father of two girls, he says he's committed to making the community better — largely by rejuvenating the music scene into a more socially conscious, community-involved entity. Joining him in this vision is Armed Green, the lead vocalist for Exum's current musical project, Musik Theory.

Exum and Green met only a couple of years ago, but have since become close friends with ambitious goals. Among them: what they're calling the inaugural Springs Summer Soul Jam.

Friday's Security Service Field event will feature R&B acts Silk, Troop, Next, H-Town and Musik Theory, and promises a family-friendly environment. All proceeds will benefit the Burnie Legette Foundation, which works to build community through scholarships and mentoring. - Colorado Springs Independent


GARDEN GROOVIN'

Rain, rain, go away. Or not.

It just didn't matter to about 200 jazz and barbecue fans who trekked through the wet to The Secret Garden on Aug. 17 for Pikes Peak Community Action Agency's annual "Groovin' in the Garden."

By the end of the evening, people had enjoyed jazz by Denver's Dotsero and local favorite Tony Exum Jr., a Front Range Barbeque dinner and had raised $17,000 in gross revenues, netting $6,000 for direct services to clients fighting poverty and homelessness.

Action Agency Chief Executive Officer Jim Faber thanked corporate sponsors for their support, including U.S. Bank, Colorado Springs Utilities, Ent Federal Credit Union, 1st Bank, American National Bank, Kutak Rock, Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Tire World, Kirkpatrick Bank, Morgan Keegan, Norm and Lynn Peterson, Carla and Franklin Hartsell and The Gazette. - The Gazette


Tony Exum "Sweet Conversations" Local Jazz sensation Tony Exum brings you a sampling of his stellar talent. Already making some noise around town with his amazing saxophone playing, Exum just might need a bigger spotlight. - The Independent


Discography

"Sweet Conversations" CD Single previously released 2005 AP Records. Now available on soundclick.com at www.soundclick.com/tonyexumjr
Sweet Conversations is currently receiving airplay on Denver-based internet station www.fm5280.com

"What If" Collaboration with AP Records recording artist "Encompass" Released January 2009. Available on iTunes (www.iTunes.com) or www.ap-records.org. Also receiving airplay on www.fm5280.com
New Single "4 On Tha Floor" now on rotation at 91.5 KUNV FM on smooth jazz show "Pamela's Place" Also streaming on Revelations Peak Radio-www.live365.com/stations/revelationspkradio

Photos

Bio

As one of the most talented musicians in the Rocky Mountain region Tony Exum, Jr. brings to mind the soulfulness of a David Sanborn, the sultry sounds of the late great Grover Washington, Jr. and silky smoothness of the late George Howard. Not a carbon copy of these greats but a distillation of those influences that formulates a unique approach to the saxophone and thus creating a voice of his own. Tony hails from Colorado Springs, CO and was raised between Biloxi, MS., New Orleans, LA, and Germany by his mother, an accountant and stepfather, an Air Force ATC instructor. His musical interests were sparked by his uncle Larry Francis, Jr., a saxophonist in the Ft Carson, CO. army bands and his mother’s vast record collection containing the sounds of jazz such as Jeff Lorber, the aforementioned saxophone of Washington, Sanborn and Howard, Charlie Parker, Ronnie Laws, Najee, the list goes on and on. At age 18, Exum began studying music at the prestigious Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver under world renowned saxophonist M. Lynn Baker, M.A. These days at D.U. brought the world of music and the challenges and achievements that found Exum discovering the vast world of music and the possibilities within. As a professional Exum joined Ft. Collins, CO based band “Meadowlark Jivin” and toured with them for 7 years recording two CDs in the process. Throughout this time he performed with and opened up for such notable acts like The Temptations, the Four Tops, the Chi-Lites, the Manhattans, WAR, Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review, Lenny Williams (formerly of Tower of Power), Chelli Minucci and Special EFX, Dotsero, Pamela Williams, Nelson Rangell, and Miki Howard, Soul School, Encompass just to name a few. With a resume’ this diverse and almost 17 years of live performing experience Tony Exum, Jr. is NOT your average saxophonist or musician for that matter. He is a sign of things to come and promises to bring a fresh voice to the world of jazz. As Independent Records, a Colorado Springs, CO music retailer of 27 years describes, “ Exum’s display of stellar sax playing just might need a bigger spotlight”.. Music fans needs not to be concerned because like Grover Washington Jr’s 1982 hit record suggests….The Best Is Yet to Come……