Brian Newman has become one of the most sought-after acts in New York City.

Jazz isn’t what it used to be, but for trumpeter and vocalist Brian Newman, that’s entirely the point.

American trumpet legends like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Lee Morgan are already a part of music history. They’re revered and loved in the way they should be. As Newman explains, learning from them is paramount, but replicating them is pointless.

“I don’t want to do what’s already been done,” he says. “I love Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington –guys like that are bringing jazz to another level but still referencing the tradition. Jazz shouldn’t be placed in a glass jar.”

Newman is here to bust the art form out of its constraints, and it’s a destiny he knew he had since his childhood. Growing up in Cleveland, the 12-year-old Newman envisioned his...

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