Joey Morant - Trumpeter, Composer, Entertainer
One of the most exciting and dynamic trumpeters on the current New York City scene Joey Morant has worked at every major venue. Joey has had a regular spot at both the Blue Note and BB King’s Lucille’s with his packed house brunch gigs as well as being featured at the Blue Note Jazz Festival. Joey Morant works as a soloist, in duet and trio settings, and as a part of larger bands and orchestras. He electrifies audiences with his dazzling horn technique, skillful scat singing, and humorous dialogue. His Louis Armstrong interpretations, both playing and singing, are perfect, and his admiration for Louis is deep and genuine.
Morant is a native Charlestonian. He is the quintessential trumpeter from the Jenkins Orphanage band tradition of the 1950s. At age 11, inspired by the piano, he became interested in classical music. When Fletcher Linton, a teacher at Charleston’s Henry P. Archer Elementary School, put a school band together, Morant began studying the trumpet. By age 15, Morant was teaching basic theory and jazz at the Daniel Jenkins Orphanage in North Charleston SC and basic jazz to his young friend, Oscar Rivers. Later, he joined the Metronome All-Stars under the direction of music educators Leroy Chisolm and Melvin Hodges Jr. (a member of the 1996 Olympic Committee).
Known as “Mr. Entertainer,” Morant has traveled the world – Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, and Mexico. He has performed and recorded with hundreds of musicians, including the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, Ray Charles, James Brown, Tina Turner, George Benson, Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra, Paul McCartney, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Milton Berle, Martha Raye, and Jabbo Smith. He has also performed regularly with a septet at Merv Griffin’s Hotel Resorts International in Atlantic City (in the 90s).
In Charleston, Morant was a regular performer at the Chef and Clef and conducted a 17-piece orchestra at the Dock Street Theatre. He is a former director of Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival. He has worked with the late saxophonist King Curtis (producer of Aretha Franklin). His first self-produced CD released in 1998 was”Better Late Than Never”.
Morant won Showtime at the Apollo and also won first place on Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) Jazz Discovery program. He received heartfelt recognition from around the world for his deeply-moving musical tribute at Ground Zero on December 11, 2001 show on CNN internationally. In 2003 he received the Harlem Jazz and Music Festival Instrumentalist of the Year award via Lloyd Williams and Voza Rivers of the Harlem Chamber Group. For 35 years, he has also been a martial artist with Shoto-Kwon Do Productions, a company he owns.
“File under one of the heaviest cats you never heard of, this vet trumpeter knows the proper way to blow up a storm. Most properly schooled in old school ways and showing just how easily he can make a killer old school, mainstream session, Morant and his high octane pals whose names you do know unfurl some solid jazz. In New York by way of Charleston, let the park service preserve Fort Sumter, there’s something more valuable being preserved here. Killer stuff throughout.”
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
"“Where Have You Been All My Life” Frank Foster