Bronx trumpet player aims to give back to students, New Yorkers through music

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A Bronx musician who worked hard to follow his dream is being featured in a big music festival at Lehman College

For Eganam Segbefia, playing music is more a safe haven than a hobby.

"Regardless of everything that has happened in my life the one constant that has guided me was the trumpet," says Segbefia.

From trying to hide his accent when he came to the Bronx from Nigeria 20 years ago, to going after playing music for a living, he never gave up on his dream.

Segbefia filled tunnels at Grand Central with triumphant, playful songs for six hours a day.

"I wanted to go to Manhattan School of Music, so I just said I’m going to dive in and play every day, play every day, play every day, then doors just started opening for me," says Segbefia.

This week he's walking through the same hallways at Lehman College where he took music classes when he was a student at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.

Segbefia ran into his high school music director on the way to rehearsing for the Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College which runs through Friday.

A former professor invited him to be the special guest artist.

"When you see a student that has the dedication, talent and enthusiasm to doing the things you have to do to accomplish what he's accomplished you recognize it immediately," says Allan Molnar, festival director and former teacher.

After coming so far, giving back to current music students is important to Segbefia.

“If they didn't help me out I wouldn't be where I am. It's the circle of life and being able to pour the knowledge to someone else that was poured on to me is what I want to be recycled,” says Segbefia.

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