Official Biography (courtesy of Andre Ward)
Born and raised on the westside of Chicago, Andre was introduced to music at an early age. "When I was 12 years-old, I met the drums and started playing the snare drums for about six months, then courted the trumpet for three months, but when I picked-up the saxophone, I fell in love and the eternal union began," reveals the musician.
Similar to his musical inspirations Grover Washington Jr., Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley, Andre's study of music and its many different intricacies enabled him to perfect a traditional jazz sound enhanced by his distinctive creative flair. Bestowed with a music performing scholarship at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Andre continued to pursue his passion by building a resume that rivaled his contemporaries. Having toured and worked with some of the biggest names in music, his dynamic performances have captivated audiences worldwide by creating an environment of smooth, sweet, hypnotic, sounds that seem surreal.
Fueled by passion, creativity, and pure talent, expectations became reality when Andre's debut album, FEELIN YOU, reached a top five position on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart, featuring the renditions of "Fallin" by Alicia Keys and "Shape of My Heart" by The Backstreet Boys. But it didn't stop there. His sophomore album, STEPPIN UP, peaked in the top ten and it was no coincidence coming from Chicago, "The Stepper's Capitol", that his cover of R. Kelly's hit, "Step In The Name of Love," became his first single to cross genre lines. It broadened Andre's fan base to include both R&B and hip-hop enthusiasts.
Now with his third release, CRYSTAL CITY, the growth and innovative approach showcased on his previous projects continues to be consistent. A product of Orpheus Music/Hush Productions, CRYSTAL CITY is a ground-breaking masterpiece executive produced by Beau and Charli Huggins. "From Alex Bugnon to newcomer saxophonist Rob White Orpheus Music / Hush Production's name has been synonymous with quality music," stated Beau Huggins, President of Orpheus Music. "Young, accomplished and edgy, Andre continues to build on the foundation laid by his Orpheus/ Hush predecessors, Najee and Kenny G."
Andre Ward continues to evolve into the type of musician that truly lives for the love of making music that respects the past, yet steps into the future. And with his newest release, he continues to do just that. CRYSTAL CITY is the perfect escape that will keep Smooth Jazz on the map forever.