Take a seasoned musician who can play the soprano, alto and tenor saxophone with skilled ease and passion and mix in varied elements of gospel, jazz, R & B and you have the next big thing to hit the jazz scene – ANDRE WARD. In the company of other accomplished artists that have set the precedence for smooth jazz, Andre Ward leaves off where Kenney G., Alex Bugnon and Najee have succeeded with Orpheus Music.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Andre started playing music at the age of five. The snare drum would be the first instrument to introduce him to the love of music, but it would be the saxophone that would ultimately allow him to receive a music performing scholarship to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. As Andre’s craft developed, he had the opportunity to travel and perform with some of the best and brightest talents.
From performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, to the Performing Art’s Tour in Lagos, Nigeria, Andre’s talent and passion for music would not go unnoticed. Andre’s resume’ of experience includes working with the biggest names in the business, including being the musical director for Freddie Jackson and touring with the likes of Teena Marie, Will Downing, The Bobby Jones Gospel Group, The Four Tops, The O’Jays and the legendary Mr. Dizzy Gillespie.
With a love of music, Andre finds inspiration in all different types. “I think it helps me to be a well-rounded musician. Gospel, Hip-Hop, Contemporary and Traditional Jazz influence me. At first I only listened to Grover Washington, Jr. Then I was introduced to a recording of Cannonball Adderley and was blown away. I didn’t know that a saxophonist could sound like this. Then I fell in love with traditional jazz, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. That is when I began to understand what Grover Washington was doing, he was combining both elements.” It is this basis that makes Andre’s latest release, “Feelin’ You” such a success in it’s fusion of various influences. And it is no wonder that he is beyond categorization - Andre creates music that anyone at any age can identify with. “Feelin’ You” includes the already classic #1 hit “Fallin” by Alicia Keyes and the pop hit, “Shape of My Heart” by The Backstreet Boys.
Ask anyone who has seen Andre perform live and they will attest to the raw energy and limitless ability of this musical talent. Known for his amazing live performances, Andre plays from his heart and truly expresses himself through the thing he loves most – his music. This is music you experience, not listen to.