Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Arturo Tappin (Elan’s childhood mentor), displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions. Trotman is also the founder and host of the Barbados Jazz Excursion, a weekend of jazz in his homeland every Columbus Day Weekend which has featured artists like Jeff Lorber, Gerald Veasley, Peter White and Jeffrey Osborne.In 2016, Elan also created a non-profit organization – the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation, which brings entertainment and sports celebrities together on the golf course to raise funds for educational programs on the island.
Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston,Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises.
Trotman has recorded and performed with a number of world-class musicians, including Michael McDonald, Roberta Flack, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Johnny Gill, Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Brian Simpson and many others. A huge sports fan, Trotman has performed the National Anthem on numerous occasions for such teams as the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. He put together the band that performed for NBA star Ray Allen’s wedding and performs annually for Theo Epstein’s charity event “Hot Stove Cool Music,”jamming with pro pitcher Bronson Arroyo and former ESPN analyst Peter Gammons.
Trotman grew up in tropical island paradise of Barbados, (home of Pop Icon Rihanna) where he grooved to calypsos, reggae and local music. He started piano lessons at 7, picking up the saxophone five years later. Well-known local saxophonist Arturo Tappin became his mentor in high school. Tappin attended Berklee in the late 1980s and returned to the island with valuable insights into jazz, which he fused with calypso and reggae rhythms. “He helped expose me to other genres outside of our native music,” Trotman says.
In the summer of 2013, Elan was invited to be a headliner on Jonathan Butler’s Soul of Summer Tour alongside Sheila E. Later that year, he was also a featured performer on the Dave Koz Mediterranean Cruise, and the Capital Jazz Cruise. He’s also a regular sax-side man for an A-list of smooth jazz artists that include Jonathan Butler, Earl Klugh, Keiko Matsui, Peter White and Brian Simpson.
As a recording artist, Elan has already been credited with 10-top 25 Billboard Radio singles, from his own albums Love and Sax (“Heaven In Your Eyes“), Tropicality (“Tradewinds” and “Masterblaster“), the single “Thoughts of Summer feat. Will Downing, and from collaborations with Brian Simpson (“Just What You Need“), Greg Manning (“Groove Me“), Cal Harris Jr (“Smooth“) Lin Rountree (“As“), Marion Meadows (“Magic Men”), Julian Vaughn (“Ride Along”). Known to compose and produce all of his projects, Trotman’s discography is currently at 7 and growing, with the success of his latest albums:”Love and Sax“,”Tropicality” and “#LiveandUncut“.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to play music for a living. After teaching for nearly 10 years, I took a chance on pursuing a full-time music career and I haven’t looked back since that day. The jazz community has welcomed me with open arms,and I feel like I’m able to be myself with my writing and my performances“. Elan
“A flurry of invention, with an equal dose of class, taste and hopefulness”~ Dave Koz
“The magic of the Caribbean, the depth of studying the giants, the hip hop sensibilities of being under 40–all present in Elan”~ Kirk Whalum
“Really Sexy – A cross between Michael Brecker and Stan Getz”~ Paul Brown
“I equate the name Elan Trotman with refreshing, exciting and one of the most unique saxophone voices of our time”~ Najee
“Elan’s sound is wonderfully soulful and rugged, reminiscent of the great players from the ‘blues belt’ ~ Terri Lynn Carrington
“Elan has a great sound, energy, and a widespread approach to his horn” ~ Gerald Albright