The Basement Tracks Trumpet Grrrl A piano-and-horn eccentric goes to the Botanic Garden

Listen: Trumpet Grrrl

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Download: "Amaryllis"

Standout Track: No. 2, “Amaryllis,” whose jazzy melody and smoky trumpet prelude wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking an early Spike Lee film. Over crashing cymbals and tuneful keys, Trumpet Grrrl—known to her friends as Christina Coleman—sings in a deep alto, “I am the amaryllis/with delusions of grandeur.” Coleman performs solo on most of her songs, which are marked by her eccentric, sonorous vocals and playful tempo changes. In “Amaryllis,” the beats come courtesy of hip-hop artist P.T. Burnem.

Musical Motivation: Coleman was wandering through the United States Botanic Garden when an amaryllis caught her eye. She found a familiar metaphor. “I’m the flower stuck in the botanical gardens, trying to get out in the world,” she says. “This year I had a lot of financial hardship, so I’m trying to blossom out of that.” The 24-year-old Burtonsville resident tutors young children, but she’s confident music will be her main source of income one day. She calls the “delusions of grandeur” lyric “a little sardonic. I 100 percent believe I’m going to be very successful in music.”

Late Bloomer: “When I picked up the horn, I was like the last chair in the worst band,” says Coleman, who began playing at 10. “But I was obsessed with the trumpet, and by the end of the year I was first chair.” Her senior year of high school, when she started working with a new teacher, she discovered she’d been positioning the instrument incorrectly against her face. “I basically had to relearn to play,” she says. Last summer, she taught herself to simultaneously play piano with her left hand and trumpet with her right. “I have a very front-woman type of personality,” she says. “I thought marketing-wise, it would set me apart.”

Our Readers Say

Nice blend of horn and piano. Grrrl definitely has a future!

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