GRAMMY award winner, two-time Emmy nominee, and cofounder of GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops—Dom Flemons has been branded the moniker “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of early American popular music. Flemons is an American old-time music, Piedmont blues, and neotraditional country multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones, Flemons is a true modern Songster, engaging audiences from the green Carolinas to the ruddy Southwest with personalized interpretations of folk, blues, early jazz and rock, country, and original material.
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Featuring two of the most vivid voices in “modern-Delta” (Rolling Stone) blues—Corey Harris and Cedric Watson—team up for this special show. Hosted by Corey Harris, a MacArthur Grant recipient, along with Cedric Watson one of Louisiana’s foremost purveyors of Creole music and culture. True Blues chronicles the extraordinary living culture of the blues in an evening of music and conversation. A True Blues concert vividly brings to life this crucial wellspring of American music.
Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, and MacArthur fellow Corey Harris has carved out his own in blues. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Wilco, among others, and was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese 2003 film, Feel Like Going Home, which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. Harris shares the stage with one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson—a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.
Join members of Ariel String Quartet in conversation as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth.The quartet will share stories of how they approach the composer’s music and why it is still as vital today as it was two centuries ago.
Once you have listened to acclaimed vocalist, composer, and arranger Alicia Olatuja, you won’t soon forget her. Praised in the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone,” Olatuja combines the earthy with the sublime, bringing a grounded relatability to genres as lofty as classical, as venerated as jazz, and as gritty as R&B.
Olatuja returns to ArtPower with her new project: Intuition: Songs From The Minds Of Women, celebrating the musical contributions of women composers by reinterpreting their songs through her own lens of classic, jazzy soul. Intuition is a dazzling journey through time, tempo, genre, language, and culture from some of the most respected artists of our generation, featuring songs by Sade, Angela Bofill, Brenda Russell, Linda Creed, Imogen Heap, Tracy Chapman, Kate Bush, and others.
Grammy–nominated and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz award-winning drummer, bandleader, and vocalist Jamison Ross delivers the messages of humanity through the medium of jazz. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Jamison realized his passion for music while growing up in his grandfather’s church, where he felt the power of music. He began his study of jazz as a high school student and gained worldwide acclaim as a featured musician in the Tribeca Film Festival–winning documentary CHOPS.
His 2015 debut release, Jamison, introduced the world to his concept of rhythm and melody and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His sophomore release, All For One, takes listeners a level deeper into Jamison’s ethos. The album is a result of a personal revelation that “we all have the capacity to love with empathy in a deeper way.”
“He has the tools, the intelligence, the ability, and the talents. The future looks bright for Croker.”— Wynton Marsalis
Trumpeter/composer Theo Croker, is hailed as one the great promises of Black American Music. Star People Nation (his upcoming LP on Sony Masterworks) isn’t a sonic departure from his critically acclaimed release Escape Velocity, but a continuation toward a much grander musical legacy that is pushing the realms of futuristic melody, rhythm, and vibratory enlightenment.
The grandson of legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Crocker is a student of Donald Byrd, a protégé of Wynton Marsalis, and a veteran of performances with such jazz greats as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Heather, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and many more. Well-versed in the swing, bop, and modal styles of acoustic jazz, Croker’s own music reveals a love of organic funk, soul, and gooey, groove-oriented hip-hop. He is creating jazz that is both “timeless and of the moment” (Wall Street Journal).
“What I enjoy best is playing music. . . . I am a musician who happens to be blind. . . . I have been blessed with a God-given gift and my prayer is that I can continue to be a blessing and inspiration to others.”—Matthew Whitaker
Eighteen-year-old musical prodigy Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. A stunning talent on the piano and organ, he began playing music at the young age of three, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At age nine, Whitaker began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ, and four years later, he became the youngest artist ever endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. At age ten, he performed at Stevie Wonder’s induction to the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.
Whitaker has achieved international acclaim for his awe-inspiring talent. He has since toured the world and performed at hundreds of major events and jazz festivals, and appeared on The Today Show, Ellen, and CBS Sunday Morning, among other shows. A rising star, Whitaker will be making his San Diego debut at ArtPower.
“Jaw-dropping . . . one of the finest saxophonists going.”—Pitchfork
Few musicians share the ability of Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. He is an alto saxophonist and composer who materializes a sound that hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form that reflects Mahanthappa’s own experience growing up as a second-generation Indian-American.
The Indo-Pak Coalition, featuring Pakinstani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and percussionist Dan Weiss, blends the sounds of jazz with Mahanthappa’s South Indian roots, creating a new and sublime complexity of sound. The result is a fiery jazz with Indian-Pakistani influences and a modern touch.
UC San Diego MFA student Sindhu Thirumalaisamy and UC San Diego economics professor Prashant Bharadwaj sits down with ArtPower artist Rudresh Mahanthappa to talk about how he fuses jazz and south Indian classical music, the name Indo-Pak Coalition, and what we can expect at his concert in San Diego.
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As a scion of an illustrious musical family, Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa is one of the brightest lights on Havana’s thriving jazz scene. Son of drummer Ruy López-Nussa and nephew of pianist Ernan López-Nussa, López-Nussa was born into a musical household in Cuba and educated by his French grandparents. He took an early interest in classical piano before shifting his focus at age 20 to the fiery Cuban jazz of his homeland.
López-Nussa gained international attention when he won top honors at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in 2005 (a triumph that earned him a featured festival spot the following year). With his last album, New Day, the rising star refines his style and adds color to his artistic palette, asserting himself as a stylish composer whose technical abilities are matched only by his powerful playing.
The Haden Triplets —Petra, Tanya, and Rachel—are three sisters “in love with the art of singing,” describes NPR Music, with a “traditional tone and effortless voices that only siblings can produce.” The daughters of world renowned bassist Charlie Haden, the Triplets share a common love for American country and traditional songs. Their self-titled 2014 album was produced by Ry Cooder (Jack White’s Third Man Records), and they’ve performed as the Fates on Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown. They have also performed or recorded with The Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Beck, and Weezer. On their own, Petra is a member of Bill Frisell’s band, and can be heard on her a cappella album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out, as well as Megan Mullally’s band, Nancy And Beth. Tanya is a multidisciplinary artist, and Rachel has performed with The Rentals and will have new music out with her band That Dog. The Triplets’ new album will be out in 2020.