Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Trumpet, Reverse Flugelhorn, and Sirenette
Elena Pinderhughes, Flute
Logan Richardson, Saxophone
Lawrence Fields, Keyboard
Luques Curtis, Bass
Corey Fonville, Drums
Themba Mkhatshwa, Percussion
Event DurationThe concert will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
This concert and the Joyce and George T. Wein Shape of Jazz series are made possible by the Joyce and George Wein Foundation in memory of Joyce Wein.
Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.
Jeff Tamarkin on Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
“Stretch Music is our attempt to create a form that’s genre-blind, to mash up all other forms of music—other musical landscapes and vernacular, other modes of operating—into a creative, improvised context that draws from all of these disparate forms, but sees them all as being completely valid,” says Adjuah, who was born Christian Scott 34 years ago. “I went to the first desegregated elementary school in the country. The neighborhood I lived in was mixed, half black and half white. I saw people react to each other as if they were nemeses, but they were enduring the exact same realities. So for all intents and purposes, they were really the same people. One of the only places these people could get along and not see each other as antagonists was when music was around.”
The Grammy-nominated Adjuah recently completed what is undoubtedly his most ambitious work to date, The Centennial Trilogy. Its three volumes—the first of which, Rebel Ruler, was released in March, with Diaspora and The Emancipation Procrastination to follow later this year—draw from multicultural sources, the artist searching for commonalities. “It reevaluates the way that we communicate with the listener through this culture of music,” he says.
When Adjuah performs in Zankel Hall, the music of The Centennial Trilogy will be his focus. He will not only be accompanied by a core group of Western jazz instrumentalists—piano, bass, and drums—but also percussionists utilizing a battery of instruments that range from West African hand drums to a standard drum kit to a contemporary sampling machine used in hip-hop. Adjuah’s aim is to develop a universal music that uses tools from all over the world, both ancient and modern.
“You’ll hear things that harken to cultures of music that are not American,” he says, “tenets of Japanese traditional music and things that come from Polish folk songs, things that sound like they might have evolved out of music that was in a Sergio Leone film. In addition, there’ll be things that come from spasm bands, musicians that played in New Orleans at the turn of the century, which is where all of this stuff grew from. Essentially, what you’ll be hearing, one way or another, is a mashup of a century’s worth of contributions in a way that makes the most sense to us. At its essence, it’s really what Stretch Music is about.”
—Jeff Tamarkin is a veteran music journalist.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Two-time Edison Award-winning and Grammy-nominated Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah--trumpeter, composer, producer, and designer of innovative instruments and interactive media--is set to release three albums to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the very first jazz recordings of 1917. Collectively titled The Centennial Trilogy, the series is at its core a sobering re-evaluation of the social and political realities of the world through sound. It speaks to a litany of issues that continue to plague our collective experiences: slavery in America via the prison-industrial complex, food insecurity, xenophobia, immigration, climate change, sexual orientation, gender equality, fascism, and the return of the demagogue.
The first release in the trilogy, Ruler Rebel, vividly depicts Adjuah's new vision and sound, revealing him to the listener in a way never heard before by way of a completely new production methodology that stretches trap music with West African and New Orleanian Afro-Native American styles.
Ruler Rebel was released this past March after the first annual Stretch Music Festival at Harlem Stage. Created by Adjuah, the Stretch Music Festival explores the boundaries of stretch, jazz, trap, and alternative rock with some of music's most poised and fiery rising stars.
Heralded by JazzTimes magazine as "jazz's young style God" and "the architect of a new commercially viable fusion," Adjuah is the progenitor of Stretch Music, a genre-blind musical form that stretches the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic conventions of jazz to encompass many musical forms, languages, thought processes, and cultures. Through his Stretch Music app, he has created an educational experience for developing musicians through a fresh style of creative improvisation and expression.
In 2016, Adjuah won JazzFM's Innovation of the Year honor along with the DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Composer to go along with his many wins for Rising Star Trumpet.
Elena Pinderhughes is a 21-year-old flutist and vocalist. By age nine, she was performing and recording with local bands, and also recorded her first CD, Catch 22. Two years later, she was featured in The Music in Me, an HBO special on young musicians. A 2013 YoungArts Gold Award recipient and US Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Pinderhughes was a member of the Grammy Band and Choir, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Young Musicians Program. She has performed in numerous venues, including the White House, Carnegie Hall, and Kennedy Center, as well as at the Monterey and Montreux jazz festivals. She has also performed in jazz festivals and clubs throughout Europe, Japan, Africa, and South America, including appearances with Herbie Hancock, Hubert Laws, Kenny Barron, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Vijay Iyer, Carlos Santana, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, Stefon Harris, Joshua Redman, Josh Groban, Common, and others. She can be heard on Ambrose Akinmusire's The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint and Common's Black America Again. Cited as "the most exciting jazz flautist to have emerged in years" by The Guardian, Pinderhughes is currently performing with a range of musicians, as well as with her own group. In the summer of 2015, she signed with SRP Music Group.
Logan Richardson was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. By the age of 16, he was well-versed in classical and improvised styles of music, performing as a featured soloist with the Kansas City Symphony and in Jimmy Heath's Quintet. At 19, he relocated to Boston to study with Bill Pierce at the Berklee College of Music. In his second year of study, Richardson moved to New York, having received a full scholarship to study at The New School. He has since performed, recorded, and toured internationally with artist such as Nasheet Waits, Stefon Harris, Greg Tardy, Joe Chambers, Billy Hart, Jason Moran, Butch Morris, NEXT Collective, Michele Rosewoman, and Gerald Clayton. At the age of 26, he recorded his debut album as a leader, titled Cerebral Flow. Two years later, he followed up with his sophomore album, Ethos. Richardson recently released an album with his dream band, comprising guitarist Pat Metheny, pianist Jason Moran, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Nasheet Waits.
Lawrence Fields has earned a spot at the forefront of young jazz pianists. He is a member of several bands led or co-led by Joe Lovano: his Classic Quartet (alongside Lewis Nash and George Mraz), the Sax Supreme (with Chris Potter), and Sound Prints (with Dave Douglas). On record, Fields has performed with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. He also appeared on the album Marsalis Music Honors Alvin Batiste with Branford Marsalis, as well as on drummer Terri Lyne Carrington's More to Say … (a 2009 release on which he served not only as pianist, but also as composer-producer). Fields also recorded albums with drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and saxophonist Jaleel Shaw. He has been a member of Watts's band, as well as that of trumpeter Nicholas Payton. In addition to performing onstage with the likes of Payton, Watts, Marsalis, and Carrington, Fields has appeared with star bassist Christian McBride, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, and bassist Robert Hurst, among others. After studying computer science at Washington University in St. Louis, Fields graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston as the first recipient of the school's James Williams Scholarship.
Luques Curtis was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After having formal training on piano and percussion, he found himself wanting to play the bass. Curtis studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, Paul Brown, and others. While attending high school, he was also very fortunate to study the Afro-Caribbean genre with bass greats Andy González and Joe Santiago. He later earned a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi. While in Boston, he was also able to work with great musicians such as Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, and Francisco Mela. Now living in the New York area, Curtis has been performing worldwide with Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, Albert Rivera, and others. He was named the 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Bass. He also co-owns a record label called Truth Revolution Records. One-half of the Curtis Brothers duo, Curtis has also performed on Brian Lynch's Grammy-winning Simpático and Grammy-nominated Madera Latino, as well as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's Grammy-nominated Rewind That.
Corey Fonville has dedicated his life to drumming, becoming one of the best of his generation. As an artist and music-enthusiast, he studied a variety of genres, mostly through his father's music collection of jazz, R&B, alternative, and funk. Originally from Virginia Beach, he first started creating a buzz after high school when he attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. While he lived in New York City, he played almost every night with prominent artists and quickly made close connections with influential musicians. He eventually left The New School to study at the Brubeck Institute in California, where he received a full scholarship to play drums. Almost immediately after completing his studies at the Brubeck Institute, Fonville began traveling the world with notable artists, including Nicholas Payton and Jacky Terrasson. Now, at the age of 25, he is currently touring with the Nicholas Payton Trio and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Additionally, Fonville has his own band, Butcher Brown, with which he completed a West Coast tour in 2012 and 2014.
Themba Mkhatshwa is a musician, producer, and educator based in Brooklyn. A classically trained percussionist at the Baltimore School of the Arts and alumnus of the Berklee College of Music, Mkhatshwa credits his achievements and success to his training and extensive studying of the djembe. This instrument has allowed him to explore the spirituality of music, travel the world, and collaborate with a multitude of artists, dance companies, and other creatives.
Weedie Braimah is a young master of the djembe who comes from a long lineage of musicians, including his mother (a respected jazz drummer) and his father (a world-renowned composer and master drummer). Born in Ghana, he began his career at the age of two after being introduced to West African culture and drumming. In East St. Louis, which he now considers home, Braimah began his lifelong quest and professional career in the study of music. He has since studied with the likes of Mamady Keïta, Famoudou Konaté, Abdoul Doumbia, and Fadouba Oularé. A maverick performer of the highest caliber, he draws entire audiences into his grove, zigzagging through Africa on a breathtaking rhythmic rollercoaster. Braimah has now been a performer, teacher, and preserver of African culture for more than 20 years and continues to pursue new musical journeys.