Growing up, I was weaned on PBS (Reading Rainbow, anyone?), discovered NPR as a teenager and WNYC/PRI in my early twenties. While in grad school, I tuned in (online) to the Bryant Park Project every single day. I still feel like my work week hasn’t quite started until I’ve listened to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life. Suffice it to say I’m a public media kind of gal.
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and JazzSet with Deedee Bridgewater. While listening to JazzSet a while ago, I came across a recording of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire‘s performance at the KC Jazz Club at the Kennedy Center. The guy is some kind of awesome, displaying virtuoso that mesmerizes and a sound all his own.
On recognizing his last name as being Yoruba, I told my mom about him and she gladly pointed out that his name is Ondo and linked Mr. Akinumsire’s musical prowess to their common provenance. Whether or not Ondo-blood has anything to do with California born-and-bred Akinmusire’s talent, his talent is undeniable. He won the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition in 2007, signed with the famed jazz label Blue Note Records in 2010 and has recorded with Curly Africana Esperanza Spalding.
While he released a debut album Prelude…To Cora, his most recent release When the Heart Emerges Glistening, is his major-label/Blue-Note debut.
Click here to listen to an interview with WBGO’s Josh Jackson, where Mr. Akinmusire discusses his new album.
Click here to here When the Heart Emerges Glistening, streamed on AOL Music.