Beat Scientist Makaya McCraven: From Blue Note to Hip-Hop

Makaya McCraven - photo by Michael McDermott

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. French-born but raised in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts by expatriate musician parents, McCraven studied Jazz at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the mentorship of jazz luminaries Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, and Yusef Lateef, and eventually went on to develop his chops in Chicago’s burgeoning scene.

“Deciphering The Message” out now!

McCraven is currently on tour and most recently released Deciphering The Message: where he digs deep into the Blue Note vault with this new remix project that puts a modern bounce on jazz classics by Art BlakeyHorace SilverHank MobleyKenny BurrellKenny Dorham & more. McCraven’s mastery of the loop is akin to hip-hop’s most celebrated beatmakers like J Dilla & Madlib, both of whom have also remixed Blue Note classics, but McCraven’s unique approach also incorporates newly recorded elements including his own drums, Joel Ross’ vibraphone, Jeff Parker’s guitar, Marquis Hill’s trumpet & more.

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Terae Stefon

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Terae Stefon looks to make his mark on an ever-changing city. A graduate of Franklin High School, he then attended Saint Martin’s University, majoring in English and Journalism. Terae found his way into radio by volunteering at local community radio stations HollowEarth and RainierAvenue Radio in Seattle and then at Total Traffic, keeping the region moving as a traffic reporter and producer. Terae’s excited to get back into music radio with Jazz24 and KNKX as well as dusting off his writing chops to share stories about the music, the artists and beyond. You can currently catch Terae during the week on Jazz24 and special projects on KNKX.

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