Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life getting you to where you are now in your career?
Without question, it is my father (Anthony Jordan). He played congas and although he never played professionally, he was my first exposure to a musician as a young child. His passion for music is exponentially larger than mine, and his record collection is incredible. So I grew up with great music being played daily in my home and it got into my soul. I can never thank my father enough for giving me that gift.
What would you define as the most life-changing event so far in your career?
I was a professional local musician in Chicago for years and I resigned myself to that being the ceiling for my career, even though I wanted more. After getting laid off from my job in late 2007, my good friend and fellow musician Chris Miskel said he would mention me to Brian Culbertson as a possible replacement for the saxophone opening in his touring band. A few months later after performing at the United Center, Brian agreed to give me a shot and came to a local club to meet me and see me perform. I sang and played like the gig was mine already…not cocky or showboating, just confident. We chatted between sets and two days later he called me and offered me the gig. From that moment, I went from primarily playing wedding and club gigs to doing shows around the world and meeting and performing with legends. I am one of the lucky cats who got a shot to do this on a bigger scale, and it’s changed my life. I will never forget it.
How did this new album and the overall concept for it come about, and what are you ultimate goals with it?
Even before I recorded a single track for the album, I had the working title. The word “catalyst” spoke to me because it represents what I want this album to become, which is to introduce me to the world as a solo artist and to be the foundation that leads to a fruitful recording and touring career.
Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
There are two moments. I grew up in Los Angeles until I was 13, and performing with Brian Culbertson at the Greek Theater in 2008, with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, uncles, aunts, cousins…and STEVIE WONDER in the audience was a major highlight for me.
What would be the most important piece of advice you’d impart to a young musician starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?
There are several things. One, if you are working in a touring band, you must be professional and prepared. Be on time for lobby calls and sound checks, learn the music before band rehearsals, and always understand that you are working FOR the artist. Your reputation means more than your ability.
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
Being a father to the most amazing girl in the world, Mikayla!!! She is beautiful, funny, intelligent and talented. She is learning guitar and is a member of the world famous Chicago Children’s Choir. Seeing her confidence at such a young age inspires me and drives me to be a better example for her.