The Life and Music of Najee Laurent Todd Eugene Smith

James Charles
13 Min Read

Najee Laurent Todd Eugene Smith

Najee Laurent Todd Eugene Smith is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Maryland, where he was named the Terrapins’ most valuable player (MVP) in his junior season. He was drafted by the Wizards in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft with the 47th overall pick.

Smith has represented the United States national team on multiple occasions, winning a gold medal at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship in 2011.

Early life and high school

Smith was born in Alexandria, Virginia, to parents Eugene Smith and Monique Laurent. He has two older sisters, Nakya and Imani, and a younger brother, Amir. His father played college basketball at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Smith attended Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, where he played basketball under head coach Glenn Farello. As a junior in 2010–11, he averaged 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game, leading the Panthers to a 27–4 record and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) championship. He was named the WCAC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection.

As a senior in 2011–12, Smith averaged 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game. He was again named the WCAC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. He helped lead Paul VI to a 28–4 record and another WCAC championship.

College career

Smith was ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 19 small forward in the class of 2012 by ESPN Recruiting Nation. He committed to playing college basketball for the Maryland Terrapins on October 30, 2011.

As a freshman at Maryland in 2012–13, Smith averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 33 games (32 starts). He was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

As a sophomore in 2013–14

1. Najee Smith: A Life in Music

Najee Smith is a name that is synonymous with success in the music industry. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and has achieved success both as a solo artist and as a member of a group. Najee was born in Brooklyn, New York and his love for music began at a young age. He started playing the saxophone when he was just eleven years old and knew from that moment on that music was his passion.

Najee’s career began to take off when he was asked to join the group, Grover Washington Jr. He toured with the group and played on some of their most popular tracks, including “Mr. Magic” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” After a few years with the group, Najee decided to pursue a solo career and released his debut album, “Najee’s Theme,” in 1986. The album was a huge success, reaching the top of the contemporary jazz charts and earning Najee a Grammy nomination.

Since then, Najee has released thirteen more albums, including two that have topped the contemporary jazz charts. He has won multiple awards and has been nominated for Grammys, American Music Awards, and NAACP Image Awards. Najee has also toured extensively, performing in countries all over the world. He has headlined at some of the most prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.

Najee is one of the most successful contemporary jazz artists of our time and his impact on the music industry is undeniable. He has achieved success both as a solo artist and as a member of a group, and his talent is undeniable. Najee is a true icon in the world of contemporary jazz and his contributions to the music industry will be remembered for years to come.

2. Najee’s Early Years

Najee was born in New York City on February 28, 1957, and was raised in the Queens borough. His father, an amateur saxophonist, exposed him early on to a variety of music, including jazz, R&B, and Latin music. Najee began playing the clarinet at age nine, and shortly thereafter took up the alto saxophone. He later switched to tenor saxophone, which would become his primary instrument.

Najee studied music at the High School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, and later at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He began his professional career in the late 1970s, playing with such artists as Grover Washington, Jr., McCoy Tyner, and Dizzy Gillespie. He made his recorded debut as a leader in 1982, with the album Najee’s Theme.

Najee’s career took off in the mid-1980s, when he released a string of successful albums for the Heads Up International label. He scored a major hit with the single “You, Me, and Heaven,” from the album Day by Day (1986). Najee’s popularity continued to grow throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, with such albums as Tokyo Blue (1989), Share My World (1991), and Soul to Soul (1992).

In recent years, Najee has continued to release new albums, tour internationally, and collaborate with a wide range of artists. He has also established himself as a successful bandleader, leading the Najee Quintet and Najee’s Playboys.

Najee’s music is a blend of jazz, R&B, and pop, with strong influences from his African-American and Caribbean heritage. He is a skilled improviser and a master of the saxophone, with a warm, soulful tone. Najee is also a talented songwriter, and his songs are often based on personal experiences and social issues.

Najee is a highly respected figure in the world of jazz, and his contributions have helped to shape the sound of contemporary jazz. He is an important innovator, and his music continues to evolve and reach new audiences.

3. Najee’s Rise to Fame

Najee is an American jazz saxophonist and flautist who came to prominence in the 1980s. He has been a part of some of the most influential bands of the past few decades, including Miles Davis’ seminal group, the Jazz Crusaders, and has collaborated with a who’s who of contemporary jazz, R&B, and pop artists.

Najee’s rise to fame began in the early 1980s when he was recruited by Miles Davis to join his band. It was during this time that Najee began to develop his signature sound, a blend of jazz, R&B, and pop that would come to define his career.

In the mid-1980s, Najee joined the Jazz Crusaders, one of the most influential bands of the era. With the Jazz Crusaders, Najee found commercial and critical success, releasing a string of well-received albums and touring the world.

In the early 1990s, Najee embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, “Najee’s Theme,” to critical acclaim. Since then, Najee has released a dozen albums, including a number of Grammy-nominated works, and has established himself as one of the premier jazz musicians of his generation.

Today, Najee continues to tour and record, keeping the sound and spirit of jazz alive for new generations of fans.

4. Najee’s Music Today

Najee (born February 2, 1958) is an American jazz saxophonist and flautist. He achieved mainstream success with his 1986 single “Tell Me How You Feel”, which peaked at number one on the Billboard Urban Contemporary chart. Throughout his career, Najee has collaborated with numerous well-known musicians, including Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and George Duke.

Najee’s musical style blends elements of jazz, R&B, and pop. His saxophone playing is often compared to that of Grover Washington, Jr. and Kenny G. Najee has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and has won numerous other awards and accolades.

Najee was born in New York City to an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother. He was exposed to music at an early age, thanks to his father’s record collection, which included albums by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley. Najee began playing the saxophone when he was eleven years old, and he soon began gigging around New York City.

In 1976, Najee enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Joe Viola and Jerry Bergonzi. After graduating from Berklee, Najee returned to New York City and began working as a sideman for such artists as George Benson, Chaka Khan, and Stanley Jordan. He also released his debut album, Najee’s Theme, in 1986.

Najee’s breakthrough came with his second album, Day by Day, which was released in 1986. The album’s title track, “Tell Me How You Feel”, was a massive hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Urban Contemporary chart. The album also featured the hit single “Sweetest Taboo”, which peaked at number two on the Billboard R&B chart.

Najee’s next two albums, Share My World (1987) and Tokyo Blue (1988), were both critical and commercial successes. Najee won his first Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance for Tokyo Blue. He also collaborated with Quincy Jones on the soundtrack to the 1988 film The Color Purple.

In the 1990s

5. Najee’s Legacy

Najee Laurent Todd Eugene Smith, better known by his stage name Najee, is an American smooth jazz saxophonist, flautist, and composer. He was born on February 2, 1960, in Newark, New Jersey. Najee began playing the saxophone at age eight, inspired by his father, who was a jazz trumpeter. He attended Newark Arts High School, where he studied classical music and jazz. After graduating, he attended Rutgers University on a full scholarship, studying classical music and jazz. He later transferred to the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with jazz greats such as Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis.

Najee’s self-titled debut album was released in 1986, and he has since released nineteen albums. His music has been featured in film and television, including the movies “Cocktail” and “The Five Heartbeats.” Najee has won two Grammy Awards, and he was nominated for a third in 2020. He has also been nominated for eight NAACP Image Awards.

Najee is a successful musician who has achieved critical and commercial acclaim. He is known for his smooth, soulful sound and his ability to cross genres. He has influenced a generation of musicians, and his legacy will continue to be felt for years to come.

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