Meet Zachary Durham: A Pinnacle of New Wave Jazz

Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Zachary Durham is a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to music. Durham began playing the trumpet professionally in 2010 but has been self-taught since high school. Since then, his music expertise has only grown, he not only plays multiple instruments but Durham is an accomplished trumpet player, even going by The Trumpet Kid on Instagram. On his latest EP, The Finest Soul, Durham writes, records, plays instruments, and produces his own tracks.

His new EP, The Finest Soul, was released on July 30th – I was able to get a sneak peek after Durham reached out via Instagram. My first listen was to the opening track, Pinnacle, The Finest Soul. Immediately you are hit with notes of smooth jazz that go straight into the hook and chorus met with the background of his trumpet. And let me say, what a breath of fresh air the effortless trumpet sounds are; while most musicians wait until a bridge or break in verse to bring in the brass instruments, Durham immediately introduces you to it. Durham’s voice is also a refreshing take on R&B, most artists try to form a pitch similar to The Weekend and Michael Jackson these days, Durham’s low notes remind you that it’s good to do something a little different. And his quick-talking verses offer energy that makes you want to dance. All-in-all, Durham’s Pinnacle, The Finest Soul is a melodic love song with just the right amount of chillness to sway to and it offers a uniqueness that just isn’t being done by anyone else out there.

I had the opportunity to ask Durham, in a few words, what is Pinnacle, The Finest Soul about. He replied, “I’m somewhat of an idealist, especially when it comes to love. Pinnacle definitely represents that. When I wrote it I was thinking to myself, dreaming up what the perfect woman for me would be like and how I’d let her know she’s perfect in every way.”

You can really see that Durham’s a romantic, the second track on Durham’s EP is I’m Here for You (L.O.V.E.) and it also doesn’t shy away from conversations of the heart. I’m Here for You (L.O.V.E.) starts with a musical styling that’s heavy on the guitar but quickly switches to upbeat jazz. And just like in Pinnacle, Durham introduces his trumpet quickly and executes it wonderfully. The bridge of the song proclaims, “I need your L-O-V-E, I want your L-O-V-E”, and its catchiness will have listeners humming it for days (I speak from experience). Once again, in this track, Durham stands out not only for his trumpet skills but also for song structure.

Durham states, “In one word, [the theme of I’m Here for you (L.O.V.E.)] it’d be reassurance. I think in life sometimes we forget to tell the person we love how they mean to us and how much they are loved by us. So I kind of went in the booth with the mindset.”

For Durham, I expect nothing but bigger things. His talent is immense and his confidence to take risks on musical style and song structure really stands out in this EP. He told me, “I want them [people] to know that I aim to make music in the most organic way possible from the lyrics to the horn arrangements. When you listen to my music you’re experiencing a piece of my heart and soul.”

I think it’s safe to say with his EP, The Finest Soul, Durham has accomplished just that.

You can listen to The Finest Soul here and be sure to check out his Instagram.

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