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Trumpeter Giveton Gelin on His Assured Debut Album, and Life as a LetterOne Rising Star

Courtesy of the artist

One year ago, trumpeter Giveton Gelin won the LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award, which recognizes undeniable young talent in North America and Europe.

The prize usually comes an invitation to perform at nearly a dozen major jazz festivals — a career boost derailed this time by the coronavirus pandemic. But Gelin has taken it all in stride. As he wraps up his final year at Juilliard remotely, from his home base in the Bahamas, he’s thinking about the road ahead. And he has an assured new album to show for his efforts: True Design, released last spring.

In this edition of My Music on The Checkout, Gelin talks about his experience as  one of jazz’s rising stars — which was already the case when LetterOne made it official last year. A protégé of the late Roy Hargrove, he stood in for his mentor at a memorial service held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2018. And he made True Design with some other young dynamos turning heads today: saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Philip Norris and drummer Kyle Benford.

This Saturday at 9 p.m., join us as WBGO presents the fourth annual Letter One Rising Stars Jazz Award concert and ceremony, unveiling this year’s winners. Hosted by singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum, the event will feature appearances and performances by vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and others.

For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.