Primary Instrument: Saxophone
A native New Yorker, Najee began his iconic career playing clarinet, saxophone and flute in his hometown Jamaica, Queens New York. While in high school his tutelage included not only Jimmy Heath but Frank Foster, and Dr. Billy Taylor at the Jazzmobile in Harlem. Honing his skills as a flutist he additionally studied with Harold Jones at the Manhattan School of Music.
Along with his brother Fareed, he continued his musical scope at the “New England Conservatory of Music” in Boston with a concentrated study in performance and composition. Upon their return to New York, they were invited to tour with the songstress Chaka Khan through his association with Me'lisa Morgan who at the time was a background vocalist.
Najee then met Charles Huggins of HUSH Productions who invited him to record his “Grammy Nominated - Platinum Selling Debut Album” entitled “Najee’s Theme” released by EMI.
Najee embarked on a US tour with Freddie Jackson laying the foundation for what has be become a revolution of Urban Contemporary Jazz.
His sophomore album Day By Day also achieved platinum. These albums were followed by Tokyo Blue, Just An Illusion” and “Share My World”, all of which attained gold sale status.
His next EMI recording was dedicated to one of his favorite artists Stevie Wonder entitled “Najee Plays Songs from the Key of Life: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder” which revitalized to a new generation Wonders' memorable classics.
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.
Najee is the recipient of many music awards including the Soul Train Music Award for Best Jazz Artist, NAACP Image Award, & Trumpet Awards.
Najee has toured extensively throughout the U.S. including Europe, Asia and Africa. While in South Africa, he performed for Nelson Mandela for the South African leaders birthday celebration. Also was also special guest of President Bill Clinton in a V.I.P. performance at the White House honoring President Jerry Rawlings of the Republic of Ghana.
Throughout his career Najee has had the opportunity to have worked with many great artists such as.... Quincy Jones, Will Downing,Patti La Belle, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Marcus Miller,Joe Sample, Lalah Hathaway, Jeff Lorber, Wayman Tisdale, Dave Koz,Lionel Richie, Gerald Veasley,Jonathan Butler, MAYSA, Ledisi, and was apart of the Prince “Hit and Run Tour”.
As his name is defined, his music can only be attributed as “Close to the Creator”. Listen, as he puts his heart and soul in artistry. We present... Najee!