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Trio Mokili

  • Arts + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

Three expert musicians blend jazz with an array of traditions from Africa. Info/tix


Chicago band Trio Mokili blend musical traditions from Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and other points abroad with American jazz styles. Their expertly crafted instrumentals feature drums, guitars, and stand-up bass weaving in and out of each other in introspective jams usually centered on a catchy theme, as captured on a set of demos recorded at Chicago's Electrical Audio a few years back. The band is a collaboration of three musicians with extensive backgrounds in jazz and various styles of music from around the world, and the three experts trade-off center stage throughout the songs. Nathaniel Braddock plays guitar, and has been a music lecturer for years, teaching classes on topics from Sufjan Stevens to popular African guitar styles. His performance work in jazz and contemporary African music has taken him across the world. Drummer Makaya McCraven describes himself as a "beat scientist," and is known for imbuing live jazz performances with hip-hop production techniques on his solo albums In The Moment (2015) and Highly Rare (2017), which also feature Trio Mokili bassist Junius Paul, another expert improviser. McCraven and Braddock also play together in Occidental Brothers Dance Band Int'l, which offers a more festive take on African music, namely soukous and highlife. Trio Mokili play here as they work on wrapping up their first studio album. —Reid Kurkerewicz

Earlier Event: April 27
Later Event: April 27
Ralph Shively Benefit