Christian Scott to perform in Detroit as part of jazz series

Trumpeter Christian Scott, known professionally as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, will perform tonight at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m.

The Hamiltones and Mumu Fresh will also be featured during the evening, which is part of The Aretha’s seasonal Wednesday night jazz series, presented by Huntington Bank.

Scott, originally from New Orleans, grew up in the tradition of jazz, with a musical family that included Grandfather Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr., and Uncle Donald Harrison, Jr., who was recently appointed. one of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Masters Jazz 2022.

“When I was little, (Harrison, Jr.) was the coolest man on the planet,” Scott said Tuesday night after arriving in Detroit. “I wanted to be around him as much as possible, and initially wanted to play the saxophone like him, but I realized that if I played the trumpet, I would probably have a more complete training because at some point, if I was good enough, I would be able to go out on the road with him and his group.

Scott plays a type of music he calls “stretch”, which goes beyond jazz to merge various genres to form a more earthy, bluesy and funky sound. The five-time Grammy-nominated musician “ushers in a new era of jazz,” according to NPR.

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“We were trying to be really intentional to marry seemingly disparate cultural groups and music into a creative, improvised sound,” he said, “as a way of trying to unify different perspectives in our daily lives.

“If I can take something that comes from an Indian raga and a Celtic folk song or poem with a delta blues, and maybe a harmonic type that can come from traditional French Guiana music,” and marrying all of those things together, then the sound result is about the ability of people to be one. “

“The idea,” he continued, “is to try to unify people into one understanding, that all human beings are valid. It has been a lot of fun and an amazing honor to be able to travel all over the world and have people recognize us by intentionally trying to show that people have more in common than they have in common.

Tonight’s lineup in Scott’s band will perform together for the first time in two years, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and making his debut will be an instrument he designed during his quarantine.

“I have my own line of custom trumpets,” he said, “but I wanted to try and create an instrument that recalls the ancestral reality of our music that predated the Americas. It is a double-sided electric harp called the Arc d’Adjuah, and it is a hybrid of the donso n-goni or kamele n-goni, which is a traditional Malian instrument, and the kora, which is an instrument of the Malian court.

The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, he said, will be the first place where Adjuah’s Arch is heard live.

He plays the instrument exclusively on one of the two albums he has already completed, of the four he plans to release in 2022.

Scott, who has performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival several times over the past two decades, is excited to return to Motor City.

“Growing up in New Orleans,” he says, “you always hear about coming and playing in Detroit. Many musicians talk about the fact that the audience here is the best in the country, especially for music from a black cultural perspective. When I was young I always heard that if you show up here and do well then you will be good everywhere.

That’s the beauty of it – knowing that when you show up in Detroit, you have to bring it, because the expectations, love and fervor of the people around music is very different from the vast majority of places where. you play in America. I can’t wait to play here again and introduce some new sounds.


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