Duane Eubanks was born into a family of gifted musical talent. His mother, pianist Vera Eubanks, brothers, trombonist Robin Eubanks and guitarist Kevin Eubanks, and uncle, legendary pianist Ray Bryant have all contributed to his early music education. The Philadelphia native played trumpet for the first time at age 11, but didn’t consider music as a career until college. While studying for a Business Administration degree at the University of Maryland, Duane joined the university’s jazz band, which afforded him opportunities to play with jazz luminaries as Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, Charles Fambrough, and Clark Terry.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, Duane studied jazz at Temple University. He performed in master classes with Dr. Billy Taylor and Wynton Marsalis. In addition to his formal jazz education, Duane took two years of private lessons with famed trumpeter Johnny Coles, who became one of his primary mentors. The years of study and continual encouragement from Robin and Kevin motivated Duane to take on his ultimate challenge. In 1996, he moved to New York with his good friend and musical partner Orrin Evans.
Duane caught the attention of French producer Aleardo G. Buzzi while sitting in with Robin at Bradley’s in New York. Aleardo recorded Robin’s 1998 TCB records release 4:JJ/Slide, Curtis & Al on which Duane played trumpet. Duane’s inspired playing left a lasting impression on Aleardo. Aleardo then approached Duane with a proposal to record his first CD as leader for TCB. The result was his critically acclaimed debut, My Shining Hour released in 1999.
Duane believes that there is value in working with big bands and observed that historically, trumpeters come up through big bands before launching their solo careers. That being said, Duane has played with the Dave Holland Big Band, Frank Foster Loud Minority Big Band, Oliver Lake Big Band, the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, the Next Legacy Orchestra, and Jason Lindner’s Big Band. He has worked with Phyllis Hyman, Bootsie Barnes, Benny Golson, Bobby Watson, Mickey Roker, James Moody, Lionel Hampton, Donald Byrd, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield Jr., Antonio Hart, The Temptations, Mulgrew Miller, Robin Eubanks, and most recently Elvin Jones.
Currently, Duane is teaching private lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, touring with Dave Holland’s Grammy winning Big Band, Mulgrew Miller’s band, Wingspan, and working on a project with Kevin. Duane is a busy sideman and is dedicated to seeing the growth of his music and career as a leader. His most recent recording as leader is Second Take on TCB Records.