Black Art Jazz Collective
Two Part Show:
#1 Water Harvesting: Julianne Kaphar shares some water wisdom as we travel with her to a natural spring where she collects 33 gallons of pure water for her family each month.
#2 Black Art Jazz Collective: All-star band founders Wayne Escoffery and Jeremy Pelt talk about being positive role models, the importance of celebrating Jazz as Black American music and fantastic original compositions inspired by African American political icons. (Starts at minute 20:17)
“I don’t want to be preaching from the stage all the time, but I feel like I have a little bit of an obligation to just say a little bit of something... some small statement as to peace, unity, mentioning something that’s happened, and just having people in your thoughts...You have the ear of a thousand people that just heard you blow their minds and make some amazing music, and I don’t understand how a lot of artists don’t take the opportunity to just say one small thing, that could make a huge difference." - Wayne Escoffery, Co-Founder Black Art Jazz Collective
Black Art Jazz Collective has been called “a cross-section of Jazz’s leading voices,” and is dedicated to celebrating Black cultural and political icons, as well as preserving the historical significance of African Americans in Jazz. The Collective was co-founded by saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and drummer Johnathan Blake. This all-star ensemble of musicians are prominent in the International and New York jazz scene both as leaders in their own right and invaluable members of ensembles led by legends like Tom Harrell, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter.
The first album from the Black Art Jazz Collective features original compositions from members of the group including a piece dedicated to W.E.B. DuBois as well as two songs inspired by President Barack Obama and one inspired by African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.
In August 2017, the group played a live concert in New Haven, CT at the Neighborhood Music School Twilight Tuesday series. Knowing my old friend Wayne Escoffery would be returning to the music school of his youth, I managed to catch up with him and co-founder Jeremy Pelt, for a quick interview before their sound check, and I'm so glad I did! Check out the full conversation in the bar at the top of this post, or on any podcasting site you like, and most importantly, check out their music and spread the word!
The music clips you’ll hear throughout the interview were recorded live at this show and are all original tracks from their 2014 album.