The Eubanks’ mother, Vera, was a pianist who obviously instilled a deep love for music in her sons. The oldest, Robin, is a renowned trombonist who apprenticed with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and went on to work with bass great Dave Holland and became one of the heavy-hitters of the SFJAZZ Collective. Middle brother Kevin has equally impressive jazz credentials but is best known for his fifteen-year tenure leading Jay Leno’s Tonight Show Band.
Like both of his brothers, Duane Eubanks has spent time working with Dave Holland, appearing on two of the bassist’s Grammy-winning big band records. The trumpeter has kept a slightly lower profile than his brothers, becoming something of a big band specialist – he’s played in large bands led by everyone from Illinois Jacquet to Oliver Lake to Jason Lindner. At the same time, he parlayed a love for R&B into stints touring or recording with the likes of The Temptations, Mos Def, Wu Tang Clan, and Kirk Franklin. Both of those passions combine in his jazz sound.
He’s also guested with the Captain Black Big Band led by his old Philly friend Orrin Evans (which will play The Rotunda tomorrow). The two moved to New York together more than twenty years ago, and Evans will be part of Eubanks’ quintet on Saturday. The band will also feature saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, bassist Alexander Claffy, and drummer Rodney Green.
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