Singletary Center and Origins Jazz Series present Makaya McCraven
Makaya McCraven is a prolific drummer, composer, and producer who believes that the word “jazz” is “insufficient, at best, to describe the phenomenon we’re dealing with.” The artist, who has been aptly called a “cultural synthesizer,” has a unique gift for collapsing space, destroying borders and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st century folk music. Profiled in Vice, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and NPR, among other publications, he and the music he makes today are at the very vanguard of that phenomenon. According to the New York Times, “McCraven has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality”.
After cutting his teeth in the Western Massachusetts music scene, co-founding a jazz-hip hop band called Cold Duck Complex that ultimately opened for The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, and the Wu-Tang Clan, he and his partner moved to Chicago in 2006. McCraven soon found himself immersed in both the creative and straight-ahead jazz scenes, proving his versatility, and along the way finding a community that mirrored the pulsating scene that birthed him artistically. Within five years’ time, he’d established a name for himself, gigging alongside scene stalwarts like Willie Pickens, Marquis Hill and Jeff Parker.
McCraven’s newest album, 2022’s In These Times, is the triumphant finale of a project 7+ years in the making. It’s a preeminent addition to his already-acclaimed and extensive discography, and it’s the album he’s been trying to make since he started making records.
In These Times, a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience, is the recording that McCraven has been slowly cooking in the background while his other works were released. In These Times encompasses all he’s lived through, as well as his lineage, while also pushing the music forward. Music critic Passion of the Weiss suggested that “McCraven’s work, both with younger players and the sounds of older recordings, is part of a necessary conversation about the next evolution of the Black improvised music known colloquially as ‘jazz.’ He’s found the threads connecting the past with the present and is either wrapping them with new colors and textures, or he’s plucking them gleefully like the strings of a grand instrument.”
More information on Makaya McCraven: makayamccraven.com
The Singletary Center is proud to partner with the Origins Jazz Series on this special event. The Origins Jazz Series was founded to fulfill the role that jazz clubs play in many American cities, creating a hub for audiences and performers to come together and celebrate the art, culture, and community of jazz. Origins is dedicated to high quality performances in compelling venues, jazz literacy, and uniting our community through music. Find out more about the Origins Jazz Series: originsjazz.org