“ A rose sprung from a rock” are the words critics use to describe Oakland, California native Angelo Luster, a saxophonist whose music invites the listener to embark upon a unique spiritual journey. You will without a doubt be enraptured by the emotion conveyed through his rich soulful sound, birthed from the union of contemporary gospel and the west coast jazz movements.
At age twelve, he was accepted on scholarship to the Young Musicians Program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he trained for six years in jazz and classical music. This led Luster to realize his purpose in life, “inspire others through my music.” Luster was taught by Bill Bell and Jim Moran, who previously trained Dave Ellis, John( Jubu) Smith, Rodney Franklin, and Benny Green. Luster, like his classmates, got a range of experience after high school through performances in jazz festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
Luster received a scholarship to Grambling State University where he achieved the position of featured saxophone soloist. He also earned the honor of being spotlighted with such artists as Boyz II Men. He was favored as one of the top college musicians of America and chosen to play in the All American College Marching Band by the Walt Disney Company in 1993, and the Company’s All American Jazz Band in 1994. Luster spent his summers playing in big bands behind such greats as, Rosemary Clooney, Mercer Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Diane Schurr, Della Reese, Billy Taylor, Joe Williams, and other seasoned performers. After obtaining his Bachelor of Music degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1996, Luster returned home and began to perform internationally with St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Luster celebrated the release of his first solo CD entitled “Face 2 Face”, in July, 2004. The CD is an intimate reflection of his spirituality and desire to lead listeners into the presence of God. For this musical work, Luster was voted Best Male Jazz Artist of 2005 by Urban Gospel Industry Awards. He was also nominated for Best Jazz Artist and Best Gospel Artist by The Sounds of Soul Black Music Awards. Angelo was honored by the American Gospel Music Awards as Jazz Artist of the Year 2006 and in 2007 winner of the Bay area Black Music Awards “ Best Gospel Musician”.
Angelo Works with some of his favorite musicians in the industry on his new single “ Sunday Mornin”, produced by Bamrock City Productions Musicians include: John " Jubu" Smith ( guitar w/Maze) Joel Smith ( bass w/Hawkins family) Terreon "Tank" Gully (Drums w/Diane Reeves) Mike Blankinship ( Keyboards). Luster has recently accompanied artists such as Paul Jackson Jr., Micah Stampley and Frank McComb and Kenny Lattimore.