MUSIC - Elan Trotman - Saxophonist, composer and educator


Elan grew up in Barbados listening to calypso, reggae, local and other music. His first instrument was the piano, which he began playing when he was 7, his musical curiosity led him to the Sax at age 12. While in high school, he had the good luck to be mentored by Berklee schooled saxophonist Arturo Tappin. His mentor passed on his "valuable insights into jazz, which he fused with calypso and reggae rhythms." In his bio, Elan notes that Arturo Tappin exposed “me to other genres outside of our native music.” During that time, Elan "led his own band, worked with a couple of gospel groups and eventually organized a combo, 'Inspiration'," which successfully found "work at local shows and festivals."

Around this time, Elan began listening to the music of "Grover Washington Jr. and other contemporary jazz musicians who performed at the prestigious Barbados Jazz Festival," and his interest in jazz became a focal point for evolving his own style, which has been described as "Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures." His musical virtuosity contributed to him receiving a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston from the Barbados government. In his bio, he says, “The most beneficial thing about Berklee for me was the environment, since it is such a melting pot of talents. ” “We all learned from each other, taking solos, sitting in with people and interacting with each other. I learned to be a more well-rounded musician.” Elan is committed to educating the young, and has served as a teacher in the Boston public school system for a number of years.

Elan * "has recorded and performed with a number of world-class musicians, including Michael McDonald, Roberta Flack, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Johnny Gill, Jeffrey Osborne, Sheila E, Marcus Miller, Will Downing, Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Peabo Bryson, Brian Simpson and many others. A huge sports fan, Trotman has performed the National Anthem on numerous occasions for such teams as the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. As an avid sports fan, Elan has provided entertainment for numerous celebrities including The Bronson Arroyo Band, Cold Pizza on ESPN with Woody Page, Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Golf Classic, Chris Tucker Charity Golf Tournament, Ray Allen Golf Tournament, Hot Stove Cool Music with Peter Gammons and Theo Epstein.

As a recording artist Elan has topped the Billboard Radio Charts over 10 times. As a solo artist charting songs include “Heaven In Your Eyes” feat. Brian Simpson, “Tradewinds” feat Peter White, “Master Blaster”, “As” feat. Lin Rountree, “Thoughts of Sumer” feat. Will Downing, and “Smooth N Saxy”. Collaborations that have topped the charts include “Magic Men” (Marion Meadows), “Groove Me” (Greg Manning), “Just What You Need” (Brian Simpson), “Smooth (Cal Harris) and “Ride Along” (Julian Vaughn)." (* bio excerpt)

Elan can be seen and heard performing at venues national and international.


Elan Trotman - Brighter Days Ahead [2022]

"Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions."   ~ smoothjazzlife

Elan Trotman Announces “Dear Marvin” Tribute Album

"Sax salutes sexy soul on Elan Trotman’s “Dear Marvin,” a collection of ten of Marvin Gaye’s best-loved songs that drops on April 2, the late legendary R&B singer’s 80th birthday. Preceding the set’s arrival is the single “Got To Give It Up,” a vibrant reboot of one of Gaye’s funky dance tracks that is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week as an instrumental from the Woodward Avenue Records album produced by Charles Haynes (Marcus Miller, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah) and Trotman."   ~


"Some successful musicians cater to their audience to keep them satisfied . Like the ever reliable saying goes: "Give the people what they want." Others prefer to tweak their musical game without particularly worrying about their commercial status -- but still somehow satisfy their core fans. Jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman fits into the latter category, having quietly gone about his business as an independent, self-contained artist since his recorded debut, Memories, in 2001. And this graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston has fully exercised his musicality -whether reaching back to his Caribbean roots, flexing funk and hip-hop or sharing his faith in Christ. Trotman's saxophone influences run deep but it is especially his appreciation for Grover Washington, Jr. and Kirk Whalum that reflects in much of his playing."   ~ Peggy Oliver - Jazz Monthly

ELAN TROTMAN - This Time Around (E.T. Muzik Productions)
"Since launching his solo career in 2001, Barbados born, Berklee School of Music educated saxman Elan Trotman has taken some fascinating twists and turns. His debut Memories mixed jazz with steel pan driven Caribbean music and gospel music—almost like an introductory autobiography. His next disc Let’s Have a Good Old Time was a high spirited gospel jazz album in the spirit of Kirk Whalum’s The Gospel According to Jazz series; it featured a tenor duet with Whalum himself on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” He then went full-tilt into the island mode with The Reggae Christmas. Trotman’s latest disc, the hour plus 15-track funk and old school R&B driven extravaganza This Time Around, is his most accomplished and in the pocket set to date." 
~ Jonathan Widran -


"Since Elan Trotman decided to venture away from the beautiful paradise island of Barbados where he honed many of his musical tastes and skills, the talented saxman has wowed and wooed many. There are those who profess to know the players, the movers, and the shakers in the world of good smooth jazz. They claim they are familiar with the special and really balanced blend of jazz and R&B, but they’ve yet to experience the essence of Elan Trotman."

"Trotman has a beautifully fluid way with his music, moving it in and out among his guest musicians. The melodies that express the gladness of love and Trotman's romantic nature are in themselves worth remembering as this young talent has the kind of musicality that ranks right up there with the smooth sax musicians of his generation."


Elan Trotman Group - Funkalypso (Revisited)
Elan Trotman Group - Smooth 'N Saxy
Elan Trotman and Brian Simpson
at the BBJazz Festival | "Heaven in Your Eyes"

Tropical Jam Session - Patrick Lamb, Jessy J, Elan Trotman