|Marcus Strickland's Twi-Life
DownBeat Critic’s Poll winner Marcus Strickland has steadily proven to be an essential part of the jazz continuum since he stepped on the scene in the early 2000s. He will present his Twi-Life group at The 2013 NYC Winter JazzFest; a highly anticipated annual event which showcases over seventy new and established groups in tandem with the Arts Presenters (APAP) conference. Twi-Life, an electric band with its inception rooted in the soul music Strickland grew up listening to, is a testament to his irrepressible versatility. “It seems, so far, that every Twi-Life band will be significantly different than the next because it is my refuge for trying out my wildest ideas,” says Strickland, who is emerging as one of the most multi-faceted and prolific writers and performers of his generation.
Marcus Strickland, saxes
Jean Baylor, vocals
Yuki Hirano, keys
Kyle Miles, electric bass
Justin Tyson, drums
His genre-bending propensity has produced fascinating and unconventional collaborations and this time around is no different; the members of this eclectic ensemble have worked individually with artists like Kanye West, Bilal and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The group includes the wideranging talents of hip-hop lyricist, DJ and Berklee professor, Raydar Ellis; legendary trombonist, Frank Lacy; dexterous keyboardist Yuki Hironao; The Roots’ newest member, bassist Mark Kelley; dynamic drummer Charles Haynes; and special guest, singer-songwriter Jean Baylor, formally of the hitmaking 90s R&B duo, Zhané.
Strickland’s development as a producer is the nexus of this project whose music comes mostly from taking his beats and applying acoustic instrumentation and improvisation. “Once you combine the many textures, layers and number crunching of [drum] programming with human spontaneity, the possibilities are infinite and it becomes yet another instrument for human invention.”