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James Brandon Lewis Trio
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$15
Buffalo-born tenor saxophonist and Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts alumni James Brandon Lewis returns to his hometown with his internationally-acclaimed trio!
James Brandon Lewis – tenor saxophone
Luke Stewart – electric bass
Warren G. Crudup III – drums
“James Brandon Lewis (b.1983 Buffalo NY ) is a critically acclaimed saxophonist, composer, recording artist, and educator. Lewis has received accolades from the New York Times, Q Magazine and cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “7 Young Players to Watch” in today’s scene. Lewis has shared stages with Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett, Hamid Drake, Ravi Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman and many others. Lewis has been endorsed by Jazz legend Saxophonist Sonny Rollins “Promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders”. – Jazz Magazine (France). The New York Times had this to say about Lewis “James Brandon Lewis, a jazz saxophonist in his 30’s, raw-toned but measured, doesn’t sound steeped in current jazz academy values. There’s an Independence about him.” James Brandon Lewis leads numerous ensembles and is the Co-Founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders. Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. more info at: https://www.jblewis.com
Luke Stewart has become a ubiquitous presence in Washington, D.C. He plays electric or upright bass in one of nine bands; presents concerts through his efforts with CapitalBop; and hosts a weekly radio show on WPFW Pacifica. Then there’s the steady flow of new music.
The day before the June 25 release of his new disc—Blacks’ Myths (Atlantic Rhythms), a heady yet emotionally transcendental duo offering with drummer Warren “Trae” Crudup III—Stewart anchored a trio led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis in the city’s Goethe-Institut as part of D.C. Public Library’s “Jazz in the Basement” concert series. The trio—which also featured Crudup—engaged in scalding, cathartic surges of energy during which Stewart provided as much bristling texture as he did rhythmic momentum and harmonic support.
Stewart’s been a member of Lewis’ trio for four years now; the two met in 2012 at New York City’s Brecht Forum, and connected immediately.
“I always felt like Luke and I were musically brothers from the very beginning; we always understood each other on and off the bandstand,” Lewis said. The saxophonist compares Stewart’s energy and fingering technique to Jimmy Garrison and Fred Hopkins.
On Black Myths, Stewart and Crudup craft evocative, Afro-futuristic grooves, frequently disrupted by eruptions of feedback dissonance or languid soundscapes. The title alludes to how black people have reinvented themselves in the aftermath of the Mid-Atlantic slave trade.
“Our history has been erased for the most part,” Stewart said. “Black people [in the Americas] don’t have a history, which means that we define ourselves in the unique position of having very little baggage. We can define ourselves in ways that we want to.”
-John Murph, Downbeat Magazine