As an 11-year old, he wanted to take on the role of Louis Armstrong for a play. He was never given the part, but had it been awarded to him, Jeremy Pelt would not have needed any lessons on how to handle the trumpet. The youngster already knew how to play. Pelt, who now ranks as a rising star in jazz music, has just begun a one-week residency at the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens which runs until Thursday. Born in California in 1976, Pelt’s attention was drawn to jazz music from as far back as he can remember. «My mother would put on jazz music at home all the time, mostly vocalists, like Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday,» Pelt told Kathimerini in an interview. «I totally fell for jazz music when I went to high school. There was a respectable band there and a teacher who was interested.» Despite his jazz inclinations, Pelt has also been associated with classical music from his childhood. «Classical music helped me return to myself so that I could feel that jazz is also cool, which it is,» said Pelt. He studied at Berklee, moved to New York, and has worked with a number of significant musicians and acts, including Jimmy Smith, Ravi Coltrane – son of the legendary John Coltrane – and The Duke Ellington Big Band. Pelt cites the trumpeters Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and Chet Baker as some of his major influences, but refuses to categorize the type of jazz he plays. Critics, however, have refered to him as a neo-bop and straight-ahead jazz artist. At his shows, Pelt performs both standard and original compositions which have been released on two albums to date, «Identity» and «Shock Value: Live at Smoke.» When asked what he would be performing at the Half Note Jazz Club, Pelt said: «It’s going to be music full of energy, rhythm and feeling. .. Dig that.» Half Note Jazz Club, 17 Trivonianou, Mets, tel 210.921.3310.