Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. The bleeding edge drummer, producer, and sonic collagist is one of Chicago’s savviest cultural players and a multi-talented force whose inventive process & intuitive, cinematic style defy categorization. Called “a sound visionary” (jazzinchicago.org) who is “not your everyday jazz drummer” (thewordisbond.com), McCraven brilliantly moves between genres and pushes the boundaries of jazz and rhythm to create forms of his own.
His breakthrough album In the Moment was released with International Anthem Recording Co. (IARC) in January of 2015 and quickly named “Album of the Week” on BBC 6 Radio by influential DJ Gilles Peterson. In The Moment was a dramatic statement by McCraven, where he debuted a unique brand of “organic beat music” that quickly launched him into the vanguard of not only Internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers blurring the boundaries of jazz & electronic music.
Makaya continues the development of his “organic beat music” as well as the work of (what Schube described as) “transcending locale” on his 2018 release Universal Beings – a 2xLP album that was recorded at 4 sessions in New York, Chicago, London & Los Angeles.
Makaya’s latest work – We’re New Again (a reimagining of Gil Scott-Heron’s last album I’m New Again) was released on XL Recordings in Feb 2020 and according to The New York Times: “doesn’t recreate the loose Caribbean funk sound of Scott-Heron’s classic bands. McCraven’s instrumentals are a cosmopolitan tangle — founded in samples and syncretism — that belongs firmly to the fast-advancing 21st century”.