Tuned In: Trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

  • Daniel B Schuler—

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Orleans-raised and Grammy-nominated trumpeter and composer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is the featured performer at Jazz & Justice, an evening of music and conversation at CityStage in Springfield tonight, Friday, at 7 p.m. 

Over the years Scott has worked with artists like Prince, McCoy Tyner, Thom Yorke, Marcus Miller and Solange Knowles, and he’s been blazing his own musical trail with what he calls “stretch music.” As he says on his website, “We are attempting to stretch — not replace — jazz's rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass as many musical forms/languages/cultures as we can. My core belief is that no form of expression is more valid than any other.”

One of Scott’s most famous compositions is “K.K.P.D.” (Ku Klux Police Department), which was his musical way of responding to the range of emotions he felt after an incident late one night in 2008 in his native New Orleans. He was on his way back from a gig when his car was pulled over by police. The lead officer pulled a gun on Scott, told him to strip and lay down on the ground. If he didn’t comply, he was told his mother would be picking up his body from the morgue. Scott stood up for his rights and luckily a higher-ranking officer arrived at the scene and let him go.

In addition to Scott’s live performance at the Jazz & Justice event, the night will begin with a discussion of “art as activism” with guest musicians Charles Neville and Sarah Elizabeth Charles, facilitated by Hampshire College Africana Studies and History professor Christopher Tinson. Starting off the evening is a performance by The Performance Project’s First Generation Ensemble, a group of young actors from Springfield who examine issues surrounding racial profiling, mass incarceration, and the school to prison pipeline.

The Downtown Northampton Summer Concert Series continues with Lou Barlow and Beige sharing the bill at Pulaski Park, tonight, Friday, at 5:30 p.m. The outdoor event is free and open to the public.

Pianist Miro Sprague and tenor saxophonist Daniel Rotem bring their quartet (with a rhythm section of bassist Alex Boneham and drummer Roberto Giaquinto) for a night of original compositions and improvisations at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Friday, tonight, at 7:30 p.m. Sprague and Rotem are graduates of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, where they studied and performed internationally with such jazz legends as Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.

Dobro master and 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas (known for his work with Alison Krauss and Union Station) will be at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls tonight, Friday, at 8 p.m.

My Morning Jacket (at right) performs at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Blues guitar legend Buddy Guy (bottom right) plays the Calvin on Saturday at 8 p.m. Quinn Sullivan opens.

Acoustic guitarist and YouTube sensation Andy McKee appears at The Iron Horse on Monday at 7 p.m.

The “hick rock” trio Lonesome Brothers plays some summery songs on a “beautiful lawn overlooking the Holyoke range” at the Westhampton Library Summer Series in Westhampton on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

New England singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Wes Buckley plays the Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. He has a new album called  “Changing Environments,” and he’s also a member of Sarah Lee Guthrie’s songwriting and activist group The Hoping Machine.

Ex-Temper, Moon Power and Gun Shy make up the latest Re-Animate the Bay State show at the Sierra Grille on Thursday at 10 p.m.