• ChicagoJazz.com

Show Alert: Chicago Drummer/“Beat Scientist” Makaya McCraven Debut @ Symphony Center, Jan 31

Featuring Matt Gold, Marquis Hill, Junius Paul, Greg Ward and Brandee Younger

Makaya McCraven (photo by David Marques)

Chicago-based drummer and producer Makaya McCraven makes his Symphony Center Presents (SCP) Jazz series debut on Friday, January 31, at 8:00 p.m., with a new program titled In These Times. This multimedia program that blends jazz and electronic music with a video collage also features several guest artists, many with Chicago ties.

McCraven brings a musical vision with influences of West African and hip-hop rhythms to his experiments with beats and tape loops of improvised music. For this appearance, McCraven invites several special guests including guitarist Matt Gold, trumpeter Marquis Hill, bassist Junius Paul, saxophonist Greg Ward and harpist Brandee Younger to perform a new program titled In These Times. The multimedia performance features free jazz and improvisation that incorporates the musical experiments these musicians developed in the studio weaving in socio-political themes, as well as a video collage created by Kim Alpert that includes archival footage of black activists and influential music innovators.

Based in Chicago for more than a decade, prolific producer of “organic beat music” Makaya McCraven experiments with the bounds of jazz and electronic music, exploring the frontiers of both genres and pushing back against conventional categorization. His breakthrough album, In the Moment, was released in 2015 and received widespread acclaim, proving to be a dramatic statement that quickly launched McCraven into the vanguard of not only internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers. His recently released Universal Beings, a 2xLP album featuring an A-list of “new” jazz players from New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles, has been named among the best jazz albums of 2018 by Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Billboard, NPR Music, Chicago Tribune and many others. 

Tickets for all Symphony Center Presents Jazz series concerts can be purchased by phone at 800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000, online at cso.org or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.