Makaya McCraven Group

 Photo by Nathan Michael

Photo by Nathan Michael

Saturday, September 23


Wagner Stage

In an era of genre-bending music, drummer MAKAYA MCCRAVEN pushes the boundaries of sound and rhythm to create categories of his own. “You are listening to one incredible musician. His style and sound is unique, a heady, skillful, sophisticated, and boldly uncompromising mix of jazz and hip-hop” (UKVibe). Makaya’s breakthrough album, In the Moment (International Anthem, 2015) has garnered international attention, earning acclaim from such media outlets as the New York Times, Lost Angeles Times, NPR, and BBC (Gilles Peterson’s “Album of the Week”). “While Teo Macero’s work with Miles [Davis] might seem the obvious reference point, ‘In the Moment’ is closer in spirit to Madlib and J Dilla” (The Wire). Born in Paris in 1983 and raised in Massachusetts by jazz drummer Stephen McCraven and Hungarian folk singer Agnes Zsigmondi, Makaya was exposed to a broad range of influences from a young age. He was mentored by jazz legends Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, and Yusef Lateef; opened for hip-hop legends including the Wu-Tang Clan, Digable Planets, and the Pharcyde; and has played with the likes of Bobby Broom, Willie Pickens, and Jeff Parker. Makaya layers his hip-hop, African dance, Hungarian folk, and indie rock influences on top of a deep history of straight-ahead jazz, improvisation, and the avant-garde as a form of unique self-expression. Makaya McCraven Group includes MARQUIS HILL (trumpet), JOEL ROSS (vibraphone), JUNIUS PAUL (bass), and MATT GOLD (guitar).