Music is not what I do, it’s who I am ! Born into an artistic family in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Vantoine Jean (mostly known as Vantoine Lael) fell in love with music at an early age. His pastor at the time (Bishop Gooden of Fifth Ave C.O.G FL) saw the passion in him at the age of 3 and instructed his mother to bring his drum set to church and let him play along with the choir. He quickly learned about flowing in the spirit and also being very sensitive to the spirit of God under the tutelage of his uncle, a well-known musician in Florida, Victor Lawton. He encouraged his nephew’s gift and immediately began to pour into him, cultivating his gift by frequently taking young Vantoine to band/choir rehearsals, studio sessions, and church musicals and performances. Vantoine would use these opportunities as time to learn and study many of the musicians he admired, and take on his uncle’s mantle. As Vantoine grew, he continued to play in church and whenever his uncle needed him.
“Every drummer that had a name, had a name because of his individual playing, he didn’t sound like anybody else, so everybody that I ever listened to, in some form, influenced my taste.” – Buddy Rich
Some of his influences are Marvin McQuitty Jr, Teddy Campbell, Dennis Chambers, Omar Hakim, Tony Royster Jr, Aaron Spears, Chris Coleman, Calvin Rodgers, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, George McCurdy, Steve Gadd, Questlove, La Dell Abrams, Buddy Rich, and many more, but most importantly to him his uncle Victor. Vantoine’s diverse, innovative musical talents can be found in a wide variety of music to include (but not limited to) gospel, R&B, and contemporary jazz just to name a few. Vantoine continues to grow professionally and spiritually, and attributes all of his success to the unwavering support of his family and his Christian rearing. He says, “Without God, his life would be nothing, and he is ever thankful for his gift of musicianship.” He will continue to play the beats from his heart into your ears with his gifts and talents through his ministry in music.
He’s currently working on obtaining a non-profit license for his business Purpose Music Makers, which gives free drum lessons to inner city kids that have a desire to play music, and also to help them develop and express their creative side thru music and the arts. Started in 2012, Purpose Music Makers 1st volunteer opportunity was at Welcome All Park, GA with 40 kids (ages 5-11) who all loved playing and wanted to keep the sticks. At the time Vantoine only had 10 pair, so he told the kids the last day of the camp he’d give them a pair, and he kept his word and raised money to give them all a pair to keep. Everything came out of his pocket, while using his own personal drums, heads, sticks, hardware, and I even purchased another drum set and snare drums so he’d have more then 1 drum set to teach with, so that everyone would get a chance to play. The objective of Purpose Music Makers is to mentor and help kids develop their gifts, talents, and abilities in all areas (music, school, etc), also to help them understand that they can be more then where they came from and aren’t limited to what people say they are (they can be whatever they want to be).