June 14-23, 2022

Walter Kemp 3

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Walter Kemp 3

Walter Kemp 3
Buffalo, NY
Grant amount: $15,000

About the Artist

Through an eclectic assemblage of touring collaborators and kinfolk, “The Black Whole” seamlessly reconnects jazz to its freer ancestral roots, while consciously and simultaneously working to uproot it through diverse sonic exchanges, instrumental interplay, and contemporary juxtapositions. Viscount-endorsed pianist and composer Walter Kemp 3 set out to marry this with Afrofuturism, pushing the boundaries of sound and bringing with it a sense of cosmic freewheeling. Kemp on piano, rhodes, and organ, GRAMMY award-winning improvisational violinist Scott Tixier, maverick woodwind master Brent Birckhead on alto sax, clarinet and flute, bass prodigy Rishon Odel and Allan Mednard, an NYC fixture on the percussion scene, add tonal richness to the group’s deconstructivist musical approach.

Walter Kemp 3's father, a Carnegie Hall classical and gospel artist, sparked Kemp's early interest in piano, leading to classical study. Also a drummer, he embraced jazz and gospel organ. As lead composer/pianist for the Black Whole, Kemp + the Reyvolation, and the Walter Kemp 3oh! garnered critical acclaim for his fearless musical experimentation. Winner of numerous awards with his international touring and recording projects, he has collaborated with musical greats like Juini Booth and Rey Scott, of Sun-Ra’s Arkestra, Bobby Militello, (Dave Brubeck), and Sabu Adeyola (Ahmad Jamal). As a highly-sought professional in the progressive music scene, Walter serves as Artistic Director for the CMC Jazz Fest. He teaches jazz studies at Villa Maria College. Releases include Dark Continent (BluJazz), which sparked a release tour later that year. The Walter Kemp 3oh! Trio toured with Yamaha-endorsed violinist, Scott Tixier, hitting major Great Lakes cities.Scott Tixier is an affiliated GRAMMY award-winning French jazz violinist and 2018 DownBeat Critic Poll Winner. He has performed, recorded and toured with jazz legends and music icons such as Stevie Wonder, Kenny Barron, Elton John, Cassandra Wilson, Chris Potter, John Legend, Adele, Anthony Braxton and others. Tixier is known for his work on film scores such as The Lion King, John Wick,and 4Bloods. Brent Birckhead (Howard University), named outstanding instrumental jazz soloist by Downbeat Magazine, was named ""Best Alto Saxophonist"" by the Washington City Paper, and worked with legendary artists including Lauryn Hill, Nas, Wale, Eric Benet, Larry Graham, George Duke, Cheryl ""Pepsi"" Riley, and more. Birckhead, professor of sax at Morgan State University, released his self-titled debut album on Revive Music. Drummer Allan Mednard of Queens, New York (BFA in jazz performance, City College of NY), studied with Carl Allen, and has performed around the globe with Jeremy Pelt, Ben Allison, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Aaron Parks, Alix Ambroise, Le Boeuf Brothers, and more. RiShon Odel has toured with smooth-jazz icon Brian Culbertson and legendary saxophonist Najee, and is Musical Director for Canadian pop sensation Julius Wilson. Odel is a member of the International Society of Bassists and endorses DR “Black Beauties” Strings. Odel has also traveled and recorded with numerous greats throughout his career, including Cissy Houston, Marvin Winans, Phil Perry, Me’Lisa Morgan, Donnie McClurkin, and (Love & Hip-Hop star) “Stevie J” Jordan.


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