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An instantly engaging, soulful release, Babysoul will astound listeners with its musicality and accessibility. After several years of playing with keyboard greats Marcus Johnson and Bobby Lyle and saxophonist Jaared, co-headlining a 30 city tour in 2004 with Ronnie Laws and jazz and soul singers Angela Bofill and Jean Carne, and opening gigs for everyone from India Arie to Boney James, Spyro Gyra and George Benson, Joyner took a full year off to focus on writing and recording an album that marks his status as “a baby coming into the world, a new soul emerging into the music business.” Babysoul is more than just a title- it is a true description of his professional re-birthing. Jackiem's insistent and seemingly limitless invention on the thumpin’, finger snapping title track is all about the urgency of getting out there and showing everyone what he’s got. Thinking back on dealing with difficult characters on the business side of things along the way, "Elevation" finds Jackiem in a retrospective place ruminating upon his life so far in the music business while the tune's ebullient character suggests an inner resolution and dedication to move only onward and upward. The dreamy, ambient closer “Innocence” strips away the obstacles and gives him a fresh, optimistic mindset towards the future. Considering that this past New Year’s Eve, he held his own jamming onstage during the Jazz Spectacular at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, California with genre greats Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub and Peter White whose graceful acoustic guitar graces Babysoul’s sensual, soprano driven first single “Stay With Me Tonight”—it’s clearly a gift that comes naturally to Joyner. “For this record, I’m really trying to communicate the soulful sound I have cultivated as much as possible,” he says, “delivering the message that I’m not only an emotionally strong player, but also technically on par. I have the best of both worlds on Babysoul, with a lot of dance groove elements up front and then the second half of the disc that slows down into a slightly more romantic mindset. Even during the time that I was growing as a sideman, it felt right for me to step up front and take solos. The first time I had the chance to headline my own gig at the Revere Beach Jazz Festival in West Palm Beach, I knew that starting a full-fledged solo career was just a matter of time and opportunity.” The flute as a lead voice has typically been a hard sell at nearly any instrumental format yet Joyner brilliantly incorporates his second instrument as a magnificent texturing expression to his saxophone-led choruses on five songs: the easy groovin’ old school flavored opening track, the percolating percussive “In Love Again” , “Innocence,”“Elevation” and the scorching Latin jam “Lola,” which features an energetic call and response pattern between a horn section and the flute. “It was fun coming up with groove concepts for which the sax and flute could both work together,” says Joyner. “I knew they’d make a powerful combination on the chorus parts.” Babysoul is rounded out by brassy funk command to “Just Groove", the romantic, film score lush “Say Yes,” the light funk ballad “Share My Tears” and the moody and blast from the past infused, Fender Rhodes enlivened “Unforgiven.” Born in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia, Joyner inherited some of his musical gifts from his professional bass player father, but grew up in a single parent household and developed most of his musical sensibilities from singing in the church choir and playing drums behind up tempo gospel songs.

After moving to Buffalo, New York during middle school, the young musician was told he’d “look good” playing the sax when he got to high school and immediately took to his new instrument. Attending a music symposium in Norfolk, he hooked up with music executive Orlando Mullins, who gave his demo CD to Marcus Johnson, then starting up the label that became Three Keys Music. Impressed with what he heard, Johnson immediately hired Joyner as his top saxman. While playing with the keyboardist from 2001-2004, Joyner also had the unique opportunities to play the national anthem for a Bulls-Wizards game at Washington D.C.’s MCI Center, perform with Three Keys artists Jaared and Bobby Lyle and be featured at such events as the Bermuda Jazz Festival; Angela Bofill was also on the bill in Bermuda, and it was Angela herself whom suggested that Joyner participate in the 30 city tour with Ronnie Laws, Jean Carne (and herself) in 2003. Other artists Joyner has opened for over the years include George Duke, Najee (a true inspiration of Joyner’s on both sax and flute), Phil Perry and Bob Baldwin.

“The most exciting part of hooking up with ARTizen Music Group and having this opportunity to get my own music out there is knowing that this is just the beginning,” says Joyner. “It was a cool experience going into the studio and knowing that while I was still working on the first album, songs for the next one were coming to me. I feel like I have a lot to share with the audience and I’m excited to have the chance to do that. The most important thing I can do to succeed long term as an artist is to continue to work towards becoming a great musician by practicing, and making sure I keep aware of the kind of music the audience wants to hear. I’m still a baby in this business, but adulthood is just around the corner." Watch this Babysoul Grow!

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