Piñata Music Series: Makaya McCraven
Jazz astronaut, rhythm scientist, cosmic explorer… many are the adjectives that can be applied to the American drummer and producer Makaya McCraven and his relentless pursuit of new expressive possibilities. Infused with the audacity that has always characterized the Chicago school, where he has resided since 2007, he has had one of the freest and most unique careers in new jazz over the past decade. Always with one eye on tradition and another on the future, his musical technique draws from sampling, collage, and the fragmentation of hip-hop culture (he’s a declared fan of A Tribe Called Quest), but also from the free-flying spirit of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. He arrives at Piñata Music Series with three albums under his belt that he released while the pandemic still raged: the fiery “Deciphering The Message” (2021), the visionary “Universal Beings E & F Sides” (2020), and “We’re New Again” (2020), his reinterpretation of the legendary Gil Scott-Heron’s “I’m New Here” (2010), and also with his most recent work, “In These Times” (2022), a labyrinthine project forged over the previous seven years. Intensity, lushness, and daring are the three values that could sum up his music.