‘Evolution is part of tradition’: musician Makaya McCraven on the future of jazz



Each day we have so many choices to make and we are constantly improvising them, just like playing jazz,” says the drummer-composer Makaya McCraven. “Even when we try to organise and sanitise the world so that we can function – that’s us improvising in different frameworks. It’s all an expression of life.”


Wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Listen more” – as if signposting to his interviewer – the 38-year-old McCraven is fizzing with energy while speaking from his basement home studio in Chicago. As he philosophically explores his unique style of composition – improvising while playing live and then chopping up the subsequent recordings to create a patchwork of samples – his wife calls out from upstairs that she’s got his lunch.


Read the interview in the Guardian.


[This piece was published on 03/12/21]