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Shamarr Allen


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Shamarr Allen is carrying on a New Orleans musical tradition. Unlike many of the young lions of Crescent City jazz and funk, he didn’t have any scholastic-based musical training growing up, opting for an education in science and math over the performing arts. Instead he learned his craft in the lower ninth, passed on to him by those who learned from their forefathers. It is the way it has always been in this musical city. Shamarr studied with New Orleans legends Leroy Jones, Joe Torregano and Clyde Kerr Jr. He also attended the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp in the late 90’s, a program that has turned out many other talented young musicians, including Concord Records artist Christian Scott, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Jonathan Batiste and Courtney Bryant.

Shamarr was honored by the City of New Orleans in 2007 with a proclamation for his work as a teacher and role model for the city’s young people. He runs a weekly clinic on Wednesdays at the Sound Café, passing on the musical traditions that he learned from his mentors.

With the spirit and demeanor of Louis Armstrong, he has put his own unique spin on the interpretation of traditional jazz, and like Louis, his concern about people and pleasing an audience always come first. He has also mastered the art of fusing the traditional with contemporary jazz and funk.

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