Makaya McCraven

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Makaya McCraven
Bobby Broom Trio - INNtöne Jazzfestival 2013 Makaye McCraven.jpg
Background information
Born19 October 1983
Genresjazz, rap, pop rock
Years active2012–present
LabelsInternational Anthem Recording Company
Associated actsBrandee Younger Edit this at Wikidata

Makaya McCraven (born October 19, 1983) is an American jazz drummer and bandleader.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

McCraven, was born in Paris, France, to jazz drummer father fr:Stephen McCraven and Hungarian singer Ágnes Zsigmondi (of the band fr:Kolinda), and from the age of three was raised in and around Amherst and Northhampton, Massachusetts.[1][2] At the age of five he played in his father's drum ensemble, the CMSS Bashers, along with some of his father's students. In middle school, he and friends formed a band to accompany his mother's folk songs. In high school, McCraven "co-founded the Cold Duck Complex, a jazz hip-hop band". He studied music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but never graduated (although he was part of the university's jazz orchestra and received various DownBeat student awards).[3]

In 2007 McCraven moved to Chicago, where he performed in the bands of Bobby Broom, de:Corey Wilkes, Willie Pickens, with the Occidental Brothers, de:Marquis Hill, and Jeff Parker,[3] and also worked as a studio musician for Apollo Sunshine and Kris Delmhorst. In 2012 he released his debut album, Split Decision (Chicago Sessions), leading a trio.[4] In the following years he appeared weekly with other musicians, to develop concepts for his 2015 album, In the Moment.[citation needed] He also performed with Kamasi Washington. In 2016 he toured mostly in Europe. After several mix tapes, in 2018 he released the double album Universal Beings, on which he was joined by musicians from New York City, London, and San Francisco, and which was nominated for the Jazz Journalists Association Awards in 2019.[citation needed] In DownBeat's 2020 Critics Poll he was the winner in the "Rising Star" categories of best producer and best drummer of the year.[citation needed]

McCraven is married to Nitasha Tamar Sharma, professor of African American and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, as of 2018.[1][2]



  1. ^ a b c d Russonello, Giovanni (November 30, 2018). "Makaya McCraven Sees the Future of Jazz Through Layers of History". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Weiner, Natalie (October 25, 2018). "Makaya McCraven Isn't Interested in Saving Jazz". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Makaya McCraven". Makaya McCraven. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  4. ^ Bilawski, Dan (October 31, 2012). "Makaya McCraven: Split Decision". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  5. ^ "GMG (Greg Spero, Makaya McCraven, Graham Czach), 2008, by Greg Spero". Greg Spero. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  6. ^ "Split Decision, by Makaya McCraven". Makaya McCraven. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  7. ^ "In the Moment Deluxe Edition, by Makaya McCraven". International Anthem. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  8. ^ "Makaya McCraven - Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape), by Makaya McCraven". Total Refreshment Records. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  9. ^ "Moving Cities, by Antoine Berjeaut, Makaya McCraven". I See Colors. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  10. ^ Sawatzki, Frank (July 2, 2020). "Gil Scott-Heron: We're New Again - A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven". de:Musikexpress. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  11. ^ "Universal Beings, by Makaya McCraven". Retrieved 2021-03-06.

External links[edit]