The marquee New York City event for Playing Changes will be this reading and discussion, presented as a part of the 2018 BRIC JazzFest in downtown Brooklyn. It's free and open to the public, though an RSVP is required. Folks from Greenlight Bookstore will be on hand to sell copies of the book, which I'll be happy to sign.
I couldn't be happier about this event, which will largely consist of a conversation between myself, guitarist and singer-songwriter Camila Meza and two excellent trumpeter-composers, Terence Blanchard and Keyon Harrold. These artists, all appearing on this year's BRIC JazzFest, represent two generations of improvisers, hailing from different backgrounds and cultures but with a clear overlap of creative intention. Blanchard came up in the first wave of so-called Young Lions in the early 1980s, and has since become a leading mentor of his generation, as well as an acclaimed film and operatic composer. He's a proud product of New Orleans, though his perspective is emphatically global.
Meza, born in Santiago, Chile, is another artist of cosmopolitan ideals. She's a brilliant guitarist, and could easily have established a career on that basis alone. But she's also a composer and a singer, with a style that streamlines even the most sophisticated inflection and turn of phrase. Meza has an album coming out soon with her Nectar Orchestra; her most recent release, Traces, was widely and justly acclaimed.
And Harrold, who hails from Ferguson, Missouri, has been a firebrand trumpeter in all sorts of settings; I’ve seen him onstage with Maxwell and Jay-Z. He ghosted Don Cheadle’s trumpet parts in the recent biopic Miles Ahead, and then released an excellent album, The Mugician, that brings a range of black musics into convergence, with a sociopolitical thrust.
I'm really looking forward to this event, and hope you can join us.