Armed with his trumpet and his own style from his home in The Big Easy, Shamarr Allen closes out the Levitt AMP Concert Series in Carson City this Saturday.
“It’s a killer party,” he said. “It’s high energy; it’s fun; it’s super New Orleans. We’re gonna laugh and show some love to each other.”
The trumpet player brings with him a skilled band to back him up as he shows off the modern New Orleans style that he creates from his soul.
“I live in a very unique place musically where I’m able to blend different styles together and bring a whole bunch of people together to enjoy themselves,” Allen said. “I just try to continue to do that and make sure people have a good time together no matter who they are.”
His style comes from the influences throughout life by listening to a variety of music from different people. He said he grew up listening to blues with his grandfather. His parents listened to R&B. He listened to rock music and hip-hop with his friends.
“I’m just all over musically as a person, but it is still all my own style,” he said.
Allen is about to release a new album, “True Orleans” on Friday, Aug. 18, the day before the Carson City show. He said he is incredibly happy with this album and proud of doing all the work from start to finish. He is credited everything — the writing, engineering, producing, mixing, mastering, editing and graphic design. He was much more satisfied with this album compared to previous ones.
“This is the first time, my thoughts how I heard them in my head, they came out exactly how I wanted,” he said.
He said he writes songs that are personal to him about what he is going through with family and friends, but they are relatable to everyone else.
“Whatever I’m battling, someone else is doing the same thing, so I just try to be totally honest,” he said.
While on tour, Allen’s trying something different for sales with this piece of work. He said he’s not listing a price on it, and instead he’s letting the fans decide how much they want to pay. He said that will show him how much they appreciate his music and art.
“It’s a way for me to connect with my audience better and for them to put their own value on what I’m doing,” he said.
He will have copies of “True Orleans” available on Saturday.
While Allen can produce the album solo, he still tours with a live band to create what he wants on stage. His band consists of three other members plus himself on trumpet and vocals. Daniel Edwards is the guitar player.
“He’s probably one of the best guitar players you’ll ever hear,” Allen said. “I call him the best guitar player nobody knows yet, and he’s amazing.”
Jared Sutton is on bass. Allen said he is one of the funkiest bass players you’ll hear.
On drums is Allen’s son, Jarrel. At 23 years old, this will be his first tour with his father, although the drummer has an impressive resume as well, playing with Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick Jr. and more since the age of 12.
“For me, I just look back and I’m like, ‘man, that’s my boy; that’s my son,’” he said. “It’s amazing to see him and what he is becoming.”
Allen said his music is unique compared to other bands. He brings his influences from many genres including jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk, blues and country.
“I think I bring a different type of energy; an energy that has been missing,” he said.
He’s been playing trumpet since he was 7 years old and started playing professionally around 13 or 14, he said.
“It turned into a career for myself and I love it,” he said. “It put me through school. Music saved my life.”
The musician had worked with many prominent musicians including Rebirth Brass Band, Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Galactic, Harry Connick Jr., Lenny Kravitz and more. He made a name for himself and then he decided to show off his own works when he started focusing more on his solo career in 2018.
“I write a lot of songs and I have a lot of ideas that I want to get out,” he said.
He looks up to one of his biggest idols, Louis Armstrong, and aspires to follow in his footsteps. Allen said there’s never been a horn player since Armstrong that leads a band with a trumpet. He said that he wants to be an international trumpet playing pop star and he wants to sell out arenas. He plans on doing that by having a different approach from others.
“I want to stick out,” he said. “I don’t want to blend in.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Shamarr Allen with opening act Jenes & The Juice at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series
WHERE: 449 W. King St. at the Brewery Arts Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19
MORE INFO: breweryarts.org; www.shamarrallen.com