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Kendrick Scott

PDX Jazz presents Kendrick Scott Oracle

May 6, 2019 | 8:00 pm

- $25 – $30
The Jack London Revue

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Kendrick Scott has become the Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, and Tony Williams of his generation,” says the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Terence Blanchard of his longtime drummer. “He’s a brilliant mind bringing innovation to the music at the same time as creating a safe place for young talent to develop and grow.”
That kind of musical apprenticeship is key to the development of young jazz artists as Blanchard well knows having himself spent pivotal years with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In the decade that Scott occupied the drum throne in Blanchard’s band, he had the opportunity to learn first-hand from an established master who gave Scott the space to find his own voice both on his instrument and as a composer. In turn, Scott took that experience and founded one of the premiere ensembles in jazz: Kendrick Scott Oracle.
Kendrick Scott Oracle returned in 2019 with the release of A Wall Becomes A Bridge (Blue Note), an inspiring new 12-song album about overcoming obstacles both personal and collective. The record, produced by Derrick Hodge, finds Scott augmenting his group and expanding Oracle’s palette by adding turntablist Jahi Sundance to his long-running quintet, which features guitarist Mike Moreno, pianist Taylor Eigsti, reedist John Ellis, and bassist Joe Sanders.
Kendrick Scott lays out his vision for the album in his artistic statement:

“Walls are easier to build than bridges. We are often quicker to stack bricks built of fear than we are to weave a cable of empathy and reach across a divide. Where I see walls, then, I see an admission of our fundamental fragility — of vulnerability. So the question that I began to ask myself was how I personally, and we collectively, can use those vulnerabilities not as points of separation, but as points of convergence?

I realized that my life’s purpose is to become an instrument of peace; to bridge divides through my music. Yet, in pursuing this I found my path stagnated by my internal walls of fear and insecurity. As I worked to explore and understand these fears in myself, I came to see my personal journey as parallel with our collective social consciousness.

This project is, therefore, a response to a personal struggle that is also a collective one: how we are more connected than ever, but also more separated; and the opportunities that lie before us within that awareness.

This music was created to explore this narrative, revealing itself from the end (>>>>>>>>>>>) of the story to the beginning (>). Traversing 12 stages including Perspective, Breakthrough, Doubt, Acceptance, Denial, and Innocence, in the end, we arrive at the seat of the allegory: transformation and optimism.  Ultimately, our walls don’t exist in contrast to bridges; they are our provocations and precursors to our breakthrough.”