Transcendental sounds

Jaimeo Brown Transcendence

Monday, July 24

7:30 p.m.

Campbell Recital Hall

SJW MEMBER: $39 | Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $10

NON-MEMBER: $47 | Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $18

Ticket prices include all fees; what you see is what you pay.

Programs, personnel, venues, and pricing subject to change without notice.


Jaimeo Brown, drums
Chris Sholar, guitar, electronics
Howard Wiley, saxophone

About Jaimeo Brown Transcendence

“Incredibly forward-thinking and fresh.” —Vice

The biggest problem with the enduring but apocryphal story of jazz emerging from Storyville, the red-light district in New Orleans, is that it erases the essential role of the Black church, the music’s deepest source of power. Before blues and jazz, there were stately spirituals and ecstatic praise songs, and in drummer Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence project he weaves a stunning musical tapestry by incorporating the sounds of Alabama’s Gee’s Bend quilters. On his visionary 2013 Motéma album Transcendence Brown not only sampled classic field recordings by Gee’s Bend singers performing traditional songs like “This World Is a Mean World” and “You Can’t Hide (Death’s Got a Warrant).” He draws on another deep and ancient spiritual tradition by incorporating Carnatic vocals by Mumbai-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Falu, composing music that elaborates on the various melodic themes and vocal cadences. The results are often stunning, as if Brown’s band was engaged in a real-time musical dialogue with the sampled artists. For this concert he’s joined on guitar and electronics by Chris Sholar, who also played on and produced the 2016 Transcendence follow up, Work Songs (which expanded the sonic matrix with samples drawn from Mississippi prisons to stonemasons in Japan). A well-traveled musician who worked with the Mingus Big Band for several years, Brown has performed and recorded with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Q-Tip, Kenny Garrett, Greg Tardy, and Joe Locke. Jaimeo’s name might look familiar to Bay Area jazz fans, because he spent his formative years in San Rafael, performing as a teenager with bassist Marcus Shelby, pianist Smith Dobson, and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. A comrade from Brown’s formative years, Oakland tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley rounds out Transcendence. Wiley provided a conceptual roadmap for Transcendence with his acclaimed 2007 album The Angola Project, which was inspired by field recordings of inmates at Louisiana’s Angola Prison.

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