Heavily influenced by David Sanborn, instrumentalist Jaared is a Washington, D.C.-based alto and soprano saxophonist who has focused primarily on smooth jazz and crossover jazz in the ‘90s and the new millennium; other saxophonists (alto, tenor, soprano, or otherwise) who have had a direct or indirect impact on Jaared's playing include Grover Washington, Jr., Nelson Rangell, Ronnie Laws, and George Howard. Jaared is capable of playing other types of instrumental music, including fusion, soul-jazz, and post-bop -- and he is no stranger to R&B. But slick, polished, and easygoing smooth jazz is the style that he is best known for, especially in jazz circles.
Jaared was born Jaared Arosemena in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1967, although he grew up in Bedford, VA. That was where Jaared began studying the saxophone at the age of seven. Jaared, who suffered from childhood asthma, took up the sax at the recommendation of his doctor. Playing a wind instrument might seem like the last thing that an asthmatic would want to do, but in fact, Jaared's doctor urged him to do exactly that in order to strengthen his lungs. The D.C. native was still a pre-adolescent when he first heard the popular Sanborn, who became his primary influence. There were many other sax players he listened to while he was growing up, and they ranged from Grover Washington, Jr., Boots Randolph, and Ace Cannon to the Lester Young-minded tenor man Stan Getz. But Sanborn's alto affected him more than anything, and that strong Sanborn influence remained after Jaared reached adulthood in the mid-‘80s and became active on the Washington, D.C. music scene (where he has played with artists ranging from go-go funk band E.U.'s Ju Ju House to Mary Ann Redmond, an excellent soul/rock singer along the lines of Tina Turner and Etta James).
Although Jaared has had his share of R&B gigs, the East Coast musician chose to concentrate on smooth jazz when he began recording albums of his own in the early 2000s (a time that also found him touring the United States extensively as a sideman and featured soloist for smooth jazz guitarist Peter White). Foreward, Jaared's debut album, was released on Marimelj/Lightyear in 2001. Each one of his following releases -- Hangtime (2002), Addiction (2008), and Manhattan Nights (2010) -- was commercially successful. ~ Alex Henderson