NPR names 23 Year Old, Micah Graves, Pawns - One To Watch
After a six-month stint as an exchange student in Amsterdam, pianist Micah Graves returned home with a passion to write music. Graves' musical foundation has roots in several of the same programs that assisted in the early development of Christian McBride, Joey DeFrancesco, Justin Faulkner, Immanuel Wilkins and many more.
With an aggressive recording schedule, the 23-year-old Philadelphia artist has released three impressive projects in less than a year, including his sublime, genre-blending record Pawns. In 2022, his discography is slated to double. Two of his new works will feature original compositions and his other project will pay homage to jazz standards. - J. Michael Harrison, WRTI
Micah Graves began his tutelage taking Classical Piano Lessons at the age 13 when he was Homeschooled. By the age of 15 he switched his focus over to Jazz Piano, where he studied at the Philadelphia Clef of Jazz under the direction of Lovett Hines at The Kimmel Performing Arts Center under the direction of Anthony Tidd. Upon Studying at the Clef Club, Micah was awarded a full summer scholarship to study at Berklee for the five-week program for two straight summers for his Junior year and Senior year. During his Senior year Micah made Allstate where he was the Pianist for the Vocal Ensemble. Soon after High school, Micah went To Temple University for his Undergrad for Jazz Piano. At Temple, Micah took lessons from Tim Brey, Bruce Barth, and Mike Moreno. During his junior year, Micah took part of the Exchange program offered and studied at the Conservatory for 6 months. Upon being there, Micah discovered a passion for writing music, and wrote nearly 30 songs upon his stay there. When he arrived back, the pandemic had started, and Micah was stuck as home for the remainder of the Spring Semester. Due to the surplus of time and the spark he felt in Amsterdam, Micah Continued to write, and craft stories during the pandemic. By August went into Rittenhouse Soundworks to record his music with his band. In four days' time Micah and his ensemble were able to record 2 albums "Med Nama" and "In My Fairytale" which would be later released in the year.
In December of 2020, Micah went back to Rittenhouse to record for his Third Album Pawns. Micah is not only recognized as a jazz pianist but also a composer, bandleader, and an instructor. Micah Currently teaches 45+ students at the Settlement Music School and ensembles there. Currently Micah is getting ready to record three more albums for the year of 2022 and start planning a summer tour.
Micah Graves third album, Pawns, fuses elements of bebop, fusion, funk and storytelling that fits the theme around renewal, hope and revival. The album can be likened to Weather Report, Chick Corea and Jeff Lorber fusion. Pawns highlights the intricate ways Micah writes, highlighting mixed meter, odd forms, and a mix of traditional and modern harmony. The album also highlights the individual players, solos and duet tandems that happen within the music. Pawns gives way to cater to what the soloist is building to. It touches and highlights the norms of Traditional jazz but also in the same notion it branches out into a category of its own. The music was written during Micah's time abroad In Amsterdam. The music is based upon the new adventurous sounds Micah was hearing, and also the euphoria of feeling love and a renewal of spirit. A good portion of the music is comprised of music that is supposed to uplift and renew the spirit in a way that highlights the intricacies of jazz.
TRACKS AND TIMES:
1. Pawns 8:37
2. Spirit 6:44
3. Lost In Time In Central Square 8:06
4. Inner Beast 7:42
5. Fed Up 7:26
6. Odd Times 6:42
7. When We Fall 7:12
8. The Hague 5:42
PLAYERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Drums: Julian Miltenberger
Bass: Zach Guise
Tenor Sax: Yesseh Ali
Trumpet: Robby Cruz
Alto Sax: Dick Oats
Piano Synth Keyboards: Micah Graves
Vocals: Shafiq Hicks
Vocals: Danielle Dougherty
Violin: Zoe Lynch
Guitar: Zach Fischer
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