@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
12 May 2008
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As a native New Yorker, Najee began his career playing clarinet
and later saxophone and flute in his hometown Jamaica, Queens New
York. While in high school Najee began studying under the direction
of Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Billy Taylor at Jazzmobile in
Harlem. Najee also studied flute with Harold Jones at the Manhattan
School of Music
In 1980, Najee along with his brother Fareed attended the New England
Conservatory of Music in Boston with a concentrated study in performance
and composition. In 1983 Najee and Fareed moved back to New York
where they were asked to tour with the R&B songstress Chaka
Khan. Through his association with Melisa Morgan who was a background
vocalist for Chaka Khan, Najee met Charles Huggins of HUSH Productions.
Charles invited Najee to record his first debut album through his
production company and in 1986 Najee released his first album on
After the release of his debut album, Najee embarked on a US tour
with Freddie Jackson. “Najee’s Theme” went platinum
and was nominated for a Grammy music award in 1987. His sophomore
album “Day By Day” also went platinum in 1988. These
albums were followed by “Tokyo Blue” (1990), and “Just
An Illusion” (1992). Both of these albums went gold. In 1994
Najee recorded “Share My World”. Najee’s 1995
recording on EMI records was dedicated to one of his favourite artists’
Stevie Wonder titled “Najee Plays Songs from the Key of Life:
A Tribute to Stevie Wonder”.
In 1998, Najee with his brother and producer of his last seven
albums, released “Morning Tenderness”. This was the
first project released on their new record label FAN. This critically
acclaimed album went to number one on the jazz charts in 1998.
Najee is the recipient of many music awards including the Soul
Train Music Award for Best Jazz Artist in (1991 and 1993) he also
received a Grammy nomination for Najees Theme in 1987.
Najee has toured in the U.S, Europe including England, France,
Italy, Spain, Asia and Africa. While in South Africa in 1998, he
performed for Nelson Mandela for the South African leaders’
birthday celebration. In 1999 Najee was a guest of President Bill
Clinton in a special performance at the White House honouring President
Jerry Rawlings of the Republic of Ghana.
Over the years Najee has worked with many great artists such as
Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, George Duke, Lionel Richie and Jonathon
Butler. Most recently he performed as a special guest artist on
the “Hit and Run” tour with Prince.