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Shamarr Allen

Though primarily a musician and performer, Shamarr Allen is also a teacher, and was a U.S. Department of State cultural ambassador. Shamarr helms his band, The Underdawgs, on trumpet and vocals, while sitting in with numerous prominent New Orleans musicians as the need or desire arises. Shamarr has performed with many music industry luminaries, including Willie Nelson (nationwide tour), Patti LaBelle, Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick, Jr., Branford Marsalis, Paul Sanchez, Ray Price, Leon Russell, Galactic, REM (trumpet on three songs on Collapse Into Now), Blues Traveler, and G. Love & Special Sauce. His compositions include music for the New Orleans Saints, “Bring Em To The Dome,” and a song written in response to the tragic oil spill of 2010, “Sorry Ain’t Enough No More.” Shamarr was featured on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s Congo Square Poster in 2012, and in 2013, he and the band were invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Shamarr has played the national anthem twice for President Barack Obama: at the White House, and when the president paid a visit to New Orleans. Every week, Shamarr teaches children music at his mother’s house in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. He does this on a pro bono basis, and in some cases, provides the children with instruments himself. Most of his current students have been accepted into NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts). The children frequently join Shamarr onstage to perform, including various charity appearances and Jazz Fest.

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