Makaya McCraven

»In These Times« – Elbphilharmonie Summer

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Makaya McCraven
Makaya McCraven © Sulyiman

Stilistischer Grenzgänger

His latest CD project »In These Times« was a genuine labour of love for Makaya McCraven. Over the course of more than seven years, the drummer, composer and producer recorded performances and jam sessions with musician friends, before placing them together at home in Chicago to create a coherent album. The result is an incredibly vibrant fusion record where the nuanced timbres and stylistic proclivities of US jazz greats – including the likes of trumpeter Marquis Hill, saxophonist Greg Ward, guitarist Matt Gold, bassist Junius Paul, vibraphonist Joel Ross and New York harpist Brandee Younger – are amalgamated to produce a blend of funk, R’n’B, hip-hop and modern jazz.

Makaya McCraven underpins all of this with pulsating grooves – sometimes full laden with energy and moving complexity, and at other times with a restrained nonchalance reminiscent of quiet blues ballads from decades long since past. Born in Paris in 1983, McCraven moved to the USA at the age of three, where he played his first gigs as a child alongside his father, the jazz drummer Stephen McCraven. After studying jazz in Massachusetts and working on his own projects like the jazz hip-hop band »Cold Duck Complex«, he settled in Chicago in 2007 and has been working ever since on the perfect sound as a »beat scientist«, as he calls himself.

He is forever crossing stylistic borders, always inspired by traditional jazz, gospel and spiritual jazz, West African percussion music, and the folk songs of his mother, the Hungarian singer and flautist Ágnes Zsigmondi. This versatility earned him the German Jazz Prize last year in the category »Best International Drummer«.


Marquis Hill trumpet

Matt Gold guitar

Junius Paul bass

Makaya McCraven drums


»In These Times«


Jazz at the Elbphilharmonie

Jazz Drums


Elbphilharmonie Summer

Promoter: HamburgMusik

Supported by Stiftung Elbphilharmonie
In cooperation with Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion

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