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Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Jackiem Joyner plays contemporary jazz influenced by his upbringing in the gospel church and love of contemporary R&B. Born in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia, Joyner was first introduced to music by his bassist father, and later played drums backing the gospel choir in his church. In his teens, Joyner relocated with his family to Syracuse, New York, where he studied saxophone and played in the band. While in high school, Joyner competed in the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (or ACT-SO), taking top honors three years in a row in the categories of Instrumental Contemporary, Composition, and Classical Music. After graduating high school, Joyner moved back to Virginia, where he accepted the position of music director for World Harvest Outreach Ministries in Newport News under the direction of Bishop Michael Patterson. This experience helped the burgeoning saxophone star grow quickly as a musician, and by age 21 he had joined keyboardist Marcus Johnson's band, with which he toured from 2001 to 2004. After moving to Los Angeles in 2003 Joyner began focusing on his solo career, and in 2005 he released his debut solo album, the independently produced This Time Around. The album helped boost his profile, and in 2007 he signed to trumpeter Rick Braun's ARTizen Music Group in time to release his sophomore album, Babysoul. Following a buyout in 2009, Joyner moved from ARTizen to Mack Avenue Records and released several more albums, including 2010's Jackiem Joyner and 2012's Church Boy, which featured contributions from Kirk Whalum and Jonathan Butler. In 2014 Joyner released his fifth studio album, and third for Mack Avenue, Evolve. An adventurous mix of smooth jazz and gospel, Evolve marked the first time Joyner wrote, arranged, and produced every track. Evolve also featured appearances from Gerald Albright and Keiko Matsui.