Jelani Bauman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his musical journey at the age of 13 when he began playing the trumpet. Jelani comes from a long lineage of musicians that spans five generations: His great-great grandfather, Professor J.B. Humphrey, taught music and established some of the very first brass bands in southeast Louisiana as early as 1880. Jelani’s grandfather, the phenomenal and renowned trumpeter, Emery Humphrey Thompson (Umar Sharif) played in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra with Clifford Brown, Benny Golson and Quincy Jones and was also highly regarded by greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Ahmad Jamal. Jelani’s enriched training and passion led him to being accepted into the one of the country’s top performing arts high schools, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), which is known for developing some of the world’s top musicians, such as Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton. At NOCCA, Jelani studied with legendary jazz educator Alvin Batiste. After attending NOCCA, Jelani attended Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York and later received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating with a B.S. in Professional Music in May 2011. In May of 2013 Jelani received his Master’s of Music in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University under the direction of world renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker.