The Jazz Urbane Premieres Playing with Other People’s Heads

The Jazz Urbane, the Berklee-based group established by the college's Africana Studies leader Bill Banfield, premieres its latest work, Playing with Other People's Heads, at Scullers Jazz Club on March 12 at 8:00 p.m. with special guest Tia Fuller. The Jazz Urbane, an evolving group of artists comprised of Berklee students, faculty, and alumni, explores the relationship between mentors and mentees through musical collaboration. Playing with Other People's Heads brings this theme into the spotlight with both the interplay between the multi-generational group members, as well as Grammy Award-winner George Duke's role as executive producer. Duke mentored Banfield and the Jazz Urbane throughout the album's creation until his death in 2013.

"Historically, the lifeline of jazz progression has always been its reach to younger creative impulses, " says Banfield. "In that exchange comes new voices; an inspiring, charged collective; and movements of style, aesthetics, and sound. The Jazz Urbane is about music making at the center of collaboration."

Playing with Other People's Heads features over 30 Berklee faculty, students, and alumni and took seven years to complete. As one of the largest Berklee cross-generational projects, the album features artists like Terri Lyne Carrington, Christian Scott, Greg Osby, and Grace Kelly. Originally formed as the Bill Banfield Band in 1981, the Jazz Urbane's latest iteration was established in 2006 with Esperanza Spalding as Banfield's counterpoint. Banfield struggled with the modern grooves in younger members like Spalding and trumpeter Christian Scott. To create balance, he brought in a group of jazz veterans like George Russell Jr. and Lenny Stallworth to join the younger players in regular collaborations where the musicians learned from each other's unique musical perspectives. Today's Jazz Urbane is an inter-generational group that emphasizes "era criss-crossing" and partnership.

About Berklee College of Music:
Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college's first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 300 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.

write your comments about the article :: © 2014 Jazz News :: home page