Saxophonist JahVelle Rhone was born and raised in the heart of Kansas City. This is where he not only found a love and gifting in music in the church playing at midnight musicals and concerts, but also at home listening to his dad play the guitar. JahVelle was often in competition with his younger brother on his piano. His style can be described as fun, smooth, and exciting with a captivating tone. He is a saxophonist on a mission to provide quality music that will challenge the listener to sit back, relax and hopefully create a lasting memory!
JahVelle’s music has a charismatic style and grace that will instantly bring healing to your soul as well as your ears. His hope to become someone people will love and want to grow with! He recorded his first CD in 2001 with Mr. Leon Brady and the Kansas City Metropolitan Youth Jazz Orchestra, entitled “Live at the Gem Theatre” in the Historic Jazz district. He released his first single “At Home” in 2013. He also recorded and was featured on “David’s Harp” from Jason Sim’s “Enter In” debut CD in 2012.
FABUtainment: How did you get your start in the music industry?
JR: The first person to really get me started was Merlon Devine, a professional saxophonist who has become a big brother and mentor. Also Julian Vaughn, Smooth Jazz Billboard’s leading bassman, who gave me one of my first “Grand Stage” opportunities playing along other chart-topping saxophonists such as Marcus Anderson, B.K. Jackson, and Vandell Andrews. The business really takes time to learn and mature in.
FABUtainment: When and why did you start playing the saxophone?
JR: Well, I first started out playing the trumpet in middle school, and I quickly exceled. But it seems like each band director wanted me to play a different instrument and offered incentives, so I went from trumpet to baritone to trombone to tuba to piano. Officially, I started playing the sax in college. Because I actually sneaked behind my high school director’s back and asked to borrow a friend’s sax in exchange for giving him tips on playing the tuba. My band director initially said switching over to sax was “like taking Kobe and putting him in Shaq’s position!” but, he came around eventually. How can I say this? The sax expresses my feelings, emotions and soul the best of any of my horns.
FABUtainment: Who are your musical influences?
JR: I grew up in a very musical family. My dad was a lead guitar player. One brother plays the piano, another plays bass, and another sings. My mom directed the children’s choir at our church, so naturally we all can sing, dance, and play instruments. Without a doubt, Grover Washington Jr. is my hero because of his sound and not being afraid to venture away from being categorized by a genre. Other influences are Kenny G, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Merlon Devine, Donald Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor, D’Angelo, Kim Burrell, Donny Hathaway, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and The Roots.
FABUtainment: How do you balance your music with other obligations, such as your family and career?
JR: That’s a good question. For me, it’s God first, then family, ministry/music, and then the other priorities tend to kind of find their respective places. I’m a media development trainer by day, saxophonist by night, and full-time daddy, husband, brother, minister, and friend.
FABUtainment: Where do you gather your songwriting inspiration?
JR: It all starts in my heart and soul. I constantly hear music in my head. I wake up with it. Sometimes I dream about it and hurry up and grab my phone recorder so I don’t lose it. My songwriting process? Funny thing is, I actually turn the radio off when I’m in the car because there is music constantly playing in my mind. Then, I use recording software called Logic Pro to hum and catch every detail of my thoughts. Next, I try to structure the song as best I know how, such as Intro / Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus/ Outro, then recreate the song using the sounds from my piano into Logic to make it match my original ideas. Sometimes, this can be a grueling process and sometimes it can just flow like water.
FABUtainment: What are your views on the music industry today?
JR: The music industry today is interesting. My biggest concern is streaming music services. While I like the fact that a person can listen to my music anywhere in the world at the click of a button, I would much rather they support the artists by paying 99 cents or $1.29 per song to enable recouping the costs of production. If we fix this, I believe we can save the music industry. I am part of the “I am an Artist” movement, and I have also created my own movement called the #99centscampaign, which encourages people to buy music, which helps the artist to continue to create great music in the future.
FABUtainment: What can we expect from you in the future?
JR: You can expect the unexpected. I really like to push the limits. I am really enjoying the EDM feel in music like Zedd, so that could be fun with saxophone. I also want to do music that reflects and represents my community in a positive light, so perhaps a few songs inspired by the “Black Lives Matters” movement. Overall, I want to keep it fun and inspirational. Because it is God who gave me the gift, and I just want to give it back to the world.
FABUtainment: Anything you would like to share, from upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
JR: I will be releasing new music this year, so Buy, Share, Support and enjoy some quality soul saxophone! I will be playing this summer at Schlitterbahns Water Park in Kansas City and doing some major fundraisers for the city as well, plus a few other events. I’ve slowed down on doing performances in order to finish this album that I’m so excited about. And I hope to surprise you with all of this.