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Jumaane Smith Presents "Louis! Louis! Louis!" at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"
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Jumaane Smith Presents "Louis! Louis! Louis!" at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"

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Jumaane Smith

Louis! Louis! Louis!
Jumaane Smith on Trumpet & Vocals
Shenel Johns on Vocals
Jerry Weldon on Tenor Saxophone
Dion Tucker on Trombone
Dan Kaufman on Piano
Cosimo Fabrizio on Guitar
Neal Caine on Bass
Jerome Jennings on Drums


Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Zooey T. Jones, JALC Director, Public Relations
Rebecca Kim, JALC Asst. Dir. Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 3, 2019

Jumaane Smith’s debut at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola was packed for this first set, and its wildly enthusiastic audience was vocally appreciative throughout the evening. Jumaane had some friends in the house, and everyone else felt like a friend when the last note was played. His program was called Louis, Louis, Louis! as a personally creative tribute to Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan. The very youthful and energized Jumaane, already a master on trumpet and vocals, also prepared new originals for this show. Blues and jazz, with Jumaane’s stunning duet with vocalist Shenel Johns, lit up Dizzy’s in vibrantly showcased rhythms. Jumaane’s equally ebullient band, Jerry Weldon on tenor saxophone, Dion Tucker on trombone, Dan Kaufman on piano, Cosimo Fabrizio on guitar, Neal Caine on bass, and Jerome Jennings on drums, each presented stunning solos and duos to make this Jazz at Lincoln Center debut a huge success. Jumaane has worked with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and JALC’s own Wynton Marsalis, and he has a busy, bright future ahead of him.

For Louis Armstrong, the Arlen tune, “I’ve Got a Right to Sing the Blues” opened the set, and Jumaane’s trumpet seized the stage. Jerry Weldon’s sax solo riffed on the theme, before pianist, Dan Kaufman created a shimmering, shaking New Orleans-styled theme with rousing chords. The Piaf/Louiguy/ Monnot “La Vie en Rose”, one of my longtime favorites, was next, and Jumaane sang Piaf’s lyrics in English to impact the audience’s connection. The band was inspired by Piaf’s unmatchable passion. For Louis Prima, The 1944 “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” was next, as Jumaane deepened the mood with bluesy refrains, as he switches from trumpet to song. For Louis Jordan, Jumaane sang a full-throated hymn to women’s unpredictability, with a high energy riff from the band. Jerome Jennings on drums and Neal Caine on bass added spirit, spunk, and syncopation in the moment. Cosimo Fabrizio on guitar and Dion Tucker on trombone enhanced the set with tonal textures and occasional solo interludes.

The duet, Cole Porter’s 1936 “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, had Jumaane with his guest vocalist, Shenel Johns, in stylized lyrical turns. It was here that we heard a tantalizing trombone solo, followed by an echoing bass solo. Shenel’s solo, “The Man I Love”, also one of my personal favorites, was sung solo by Shenel with personality and pizzazz. Soon Jumaane was center stage again, with a muted trumpet rendition of “Georgia On My Mind”. His band backed him beautifully. Jumaane’s own original, “Crazy for You”, found him on both vocals and trumpet. “Pennies from Heaven”, for Louis Prima, was performed as swing, with Jumaane’s rambunctious, sassy crooning, drums, and trumpet. Also for Prima was “When You’re Smiling”, and this Dizzy’s crowd was connecting big time, tunefully entranced. A brassy trio of trombone, sax, and trumpet was a fantastic way to almost end this set, before Jerome’s solo, expansive drum rolls. In a total Mardi Gras finale, with a growling trombone, souring sax, and strong drum bash, Jumaane Smith and his band let loose.

Jumaane Smith and Band at
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Jumaane Smith

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at