Pursuing jazz is difficult, and when you lack an environment where Jazz exists as a true art-form, like the Bahamas, it’s a down-right challenge. However, where there is a will; there’s a way and Bahamian born and bred Giveton Gelin found that way.
Since the age of 10, Giveton taught himself how to play the trumpet simply by emulating what he would hear on his favorite records. Despite years of self-tutelage, it wasn't until Giveton was thirteen years old that he saw double bass player Adrian D'Aguilar (who lived in NY and LA for several decades) playing live in the Bahamas that he came to the realization that "There is a place for jazz in the Bahamas." Giveton was relieved to learn that this obsession of his had a foundation, and could become a reality.
Adrian took Giveton under his wing, and gave him the tools he needed to really play jazz. Their relationship is truly a special one; Adrian has been a second father and musical mentor to him for about seven years now. Adrian is also his biggest supporters – rejoicing in each of his accomplishments and pushing him to excel more each day.
Giveton graduated high school in the Bahamas, and then moved to Ohio to study with Dr. Eddie Henderson at the Oberlin Conservatory. That very year he won top positions at both the Young Arts Foundation and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program. After one year at Oberlin, he moved to New York, and now attends the Juilliard School.
Giveton has been mentored by some of the world's greatest jazz musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Eddie Henderson, Barry Harris, Jason Moran, Ralph Peterson, Ambrose Akinmusire and Roy Hargrove.
Giveton is making a name for himself on the New York Scene. After only being in New York City for one year he has played with pioneers of the NY jazz scene – like Roy Hargrove, Curtis Lundy, Harold Mabern, Bobby Watson, Winard Harper, Sullivan Fortner, Ben Wolfe, Jon Batiste, and Wynton Marsalis.
Giveton’s artistic vision is to pay tribute to his ancestors and to bring forth a new narrative to Jazz music. He hopes to be a leading voice that truly speaks to the heart. He plays to uplift and unify others by incorporating core human qualities into sound.
Giveton now leads his very own Quintet and plays around town on the New York scene.
At 20, his journey is still in its initial stages, with so many bends and peaks up ahead. Giveton’s innate drive, passion and love for music will surely drive his future success!