Years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans native Vandell Andrew becomes rising sax star in Texas
(Published: March 02, 2011)
(Dallas, Texas) Written by Robert Sutton. Saxophonist Vandell Andrew nearly found himself under the tutelage of legendary jazz artist Edward "Kidd" Jordan until Mother Nature interfered. The lethal attack of Hurricane Katrina on Andrew's native New Orleans blew those plans into the ground, forcing him to relocate.
But something happened in Andrew's adopted home of Dallas, Texas. His skills as a saxophone player, caked with promise but still unpolished, began to sharpen and find its own voice; five years later, at the age of 23, Andrew has become a rising star.
Andrew's self-titled debut EP is the fulfillment of the potential he has hinted at since he was a young teen. Although only consisting of three tracks, the EP has the emotional depth of a full-length, not to mention the sonic clarity of a major-label effort.
The performances reveal an artist who is mature beyond his years. The soulful introspection and sultry romanticism of Andrew's sax on "Affliction" produce layers of feeling and cinematic atmosphere. When the shuffling rhythm kicks into gear, Andrew's saxophone soars along for the ride, resulting in a cathartic ending to an intense build-up. In the opening track, "Walk My Way," Andrew mesmerizes listeners with the velvety caress of his saxophone, taking ‘smooth jazz' to its most literal definition.
Q: You're only 23, but it sounds like you've been doing this for quite a while.
A: My mother was a musician. She had always wanted me to play music, but I was really into sports. When I was 13-years-old, my mom enrolled me in a jazz summer camp in New Orleans. I joined the marching and jazz band at St. Augustine High School and within the four years of attending this school, I found a stronger love for jazz. We played music by Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane. By the time I graduated high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue music as a career.
Q: When did you go professional?
A: I was 18 years old.
Q: A number of changes can happen in a person's life between those years. How do you feel about music now?
A: I used to listen to music for entertainment. Now it's way more than just entertainment. Music is my inspiration for everyday life.
Q: What are your goals as a musician in terms of your art?
A: I want to pay homage to those who came before me. I want to speak positive messages through my music.
Q: What are your goals as a musician in terms of it being a business?
A: I want to build a strong brand. My goal is to have a recognizable sound in the jazz industry. I want my product to have the same power as the "Jordan" or "Nike" brand.
More Information: http://vandellmusic.com