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Tru The Saxophonist also known as Ariana Stanberry is a multi-instrumentalist from Groton, Connecticut. She discovered her love for the saxophone at a young age and has stuck to it since then. She is currently working on producing original music, and her biggest goal in life is giving back to the Jamaican community, black women’s community, and black non-binary community. 

How did you start making music?


I’d say music comes naturally to me and my family. A lot of people in my family are musicians, including my parents, so I was raised very musically. Growing up I went to church and my dad was the chore director there, so I was always surrounded by music in some way. I started learning the djembe while I was a child and living in Jamaica. When I moved to the USA, I got the opportunity to learn to play the saxophone at school, when I was around 9 years old. I’ve been playing the sax since then. I’ve also explored other instruments such as trumpet, piano, violin, and many others. I decided to stick to the saxophone because I feel a special connection to the instrument. During high school, I decided I had to pursue music in college because I couldn’t see myself studying any other subject. I graduated last year from Berklee college, and now I just want to explore my artistry and see where that will take me.

Right now, I’m trying to put more energy into creating more original songs as I’m looking forward to releasing more original music this year. In addition to that, I’m committed to giving back to my community, especially musicians within the Jamaican community, black women’s community, and black non-binary community. This year I’ve also launched a scholarship that goes towards donating and financially assisting any black girl saxophonist, black woman saxophonist, and black non-binary identified saxophonist. Right now, my two main focuses are to give back and inspire other people by creating my original content.

What genres do you do?


I’ve played everything, to be honest. I was trained in classical music and jazz, and then I branched out to do more popular genres such as R&B and pop. I’d say my favorite genres right now are afro beats, reggae, and dancehall. I believe I’m just kind of attached to those as their sound represents part of the culture and history of my community.

Do you also compose songs?


I do like to write songs. As of now, I have 4 singles that are original songs, which I did write and compose myself. I love creating melodies and chord progressions! And, as I’m a saxophonist, most of the time my songs are instrumental. So, I definitely need to work more on my lyrical content. I consider myself a songwriter when it comes to creating melodies and harmonies.

Are you a full-time musician?


Currently, I’m a hundred percent doing music, while also a hundred percent doing side hustles. Right now, as we speak, I’m working as a substitute teacher at a local elementary school during the week, and on the weekends, I teach the saxophone and do occasional performances. Hopefully next summer I’ll be one hundred percent a full-time musician, that’s my goal.


How did you find out about Make Music Day? And how was your experience performing at Make Music Day?


I heard about Make Music Day through CulturedAF Studios in New London Connecticut. They told me about the event and asked me to be a part of it and celebrate with them. I had a wonderful experience! In this area of Connecticut, there is not necessarily that much music going on and I’d say that we don’t get to experience the spontaneous aspect of music. So, I loved Make Music Day and found it beautiful for the community here to have a day to get together and celebrate music.  It felt very nice as a musician to see everyone getting to enjoy and appreciate music.

How would you describe what music means to you?


Music to me is just an opportunity to express yourself in another language. I know it may sound cliché, but I believe that musicality is a literal language. As a musician, I believe there is a way to communicate with other people emotionally and mentally through melodies, harmonies, scales, riffs. I firmly believe there is a way to gain a deeper connection with another human being solely through music.

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