I’m thrilled to see my friend Marquis Hill win the Thelonious Monk trumpet competition. He is not only a fantastic musician, but also a truly humble and beautiful human being. I can’t imagine this happening to a more deserving person- congrats Marquis! I’m fortunate to work with Marquis in various contexts, including Matt Ulery’s Loom. Check out Matt’s record on Greenleaf here: http://www.greenleafmusic.com/wakeanecho/

Marquis is also part of my latest  quintet along with Dana Hall, Clark Sommers and Joel Adams.  Here’s a preview (rough mix) of our forthcoming CD, Our Roots,  that features Marquis on a tune of mine, “Meshell,” dedicated to the great Meshell Ndegeocello. Special thanks to Chad McCullough for that mute. Look for the CD in 2015!

Spin Front Cover

The Spin Quartet (Chad McCullough, Clark Sommers, Kobie Watkins and myself) is headed to the Northwest this week to celebrate the release of our new Origin Records CD, In Circlesat the Earshot Jazz Festival and other venues. After that, we’ll be in in Baltimore and Brooklyn for a couple East Coast dates (with drummer Jon Deitemyer) and will finish up close to home in South Bend, Indiana.  Click below for a cool tour poster of all the dates to share with your friends (it’s so cool it might take a couple secs to load, but it’s worth the wait!):


melba tribute

I’m headed to NY tomorrow for Melba Liston Remembered,  a tribute to the great trombonist and arranger at the Manhattan School of Music in collaboration with the Wilbur Ware Institute. The MSM Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Justin DiCiocco, will play some rarely performed works of Liston’s that I dug out of her archives here in Chicago at the Center for Black Music Research, I’ll speak about my 2011 Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Commission suite “Melba,” and Randy Weston will close out the night with his quartet. I’m also looking forward to participating in the pre-concert panel discussion with Janice Robinson and Sally Placksin, author of the seminal “American Women in Jazz.” Come out and celebrate Melba with us! Tickets available here: http://tinyurl.com/k8awbds