Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: 2nd Century Jazz

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is leading the charge into jazz's next chapter.


About Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Christian Scott, also known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (born March 31, 1983, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a two-time Edison Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter, composer, and producer. He is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr. His musical tutelage began under the direction of his uncle at the age of thirteen. After graduating from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2001, Christian received a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he earned a degree in professional music and film scoring thirty months later.

Since 2002, Christian has released eleven critically acclaimed studio recordings, two live albums, and one greatest hits collection. According to NPR, "Christian Scott ushers in new era of jazz." He has been heralded by JazzTimes Magazine as "Jazz's young style God." Christian is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the "forecasting cell" and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece. The technique is known as his "whisper technique."

Christian is the progenitor of "Stretch Music," a jazz-rooted, genre-blind musical form that attempts to "stretch" jazz’s rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic conventions to encompass as many other musical forms, languages, and cultures as possible. Jazz is a progressive musical movement and Christian is at the forefront of its continued viability as an art form. Christian’s 2015 release, Stretch Music, marked the partnership between Christian’s Stretch Music record label and Ropeadope Records. Critics and fans alike have praised the recording. Stretch Music is also the first recording to have an accompanying app, for which Christian won the prestigious JazzFM Innovator of the Year Award in 2016. The Stretch Music App is an interactive music player that allows musicians the ability to completely control their practicing, listening and learning experience by customizing the player to fit their specific needs and goals.

In 2017, Christian released three albums, collectively titled The Centennial Trilogy, that debuted at number one on iTunes. The albums’ launch commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first Jazz recordings of 1917. The series is, at its core, a sobering re-evaluation of the social political realities of the world through sound. It speaks to a litany of issues that continue to plague the collective human experience, such as slavery in America via the Prison Industrial Complex, food insecurity, xenophobia, immigration, climate change, sexual orientation and gender inequality, fascism, and the return of the demagogue.

The first release in the trilogy, Ruler Rebel, vividly depicts Adjuah's new vision and sound—revealing Adjuah to the listener in a way never heard before via a completely new production methodology that stretches trap music with West African and New Orleanian Black Indian masking tradition musical styles. Ruler Rebel’s release coincided with the first annual Stretch Music Festival at Harlem Stage in New York. The Stretch Music Festival, created and curated by Christian, explores the boundaries of Stretch, Jazz, Trap, and Alternative Rock with some of music’s most poised and fiery rising stars. The sold-out performances were met with praise from both music critics and fans. The second release, Diaspora, was showcased during Adjuah’s sold-out Carnegie Hall performance in 2017. The third release, Emancipation Procrastination, launched in September 2017 during NPR’s global Jazz Night in America broadcast from New Orleans.

Christian scored his identical twin brother’s and Director’s Guild of America 2015 Student Award recipient, writer-director, and Spike Lee protégé Kiel Adrian Scott’s recent Student Academy Award-nominated film, Samaria. Christian also scored Kiel’s award-winning film, The Roe Effect. He will also score Kiel’s feature length directorial debut, slated for production late 2018.

In addition to scoring documentaries for Hennessy Cognac and others, in 2017, Christian has scored commercials for Tag Heuer watch makers and The Gap clothing company, as well as music for ESPN’s Sports Center. Christian has also recently completed a music project in which he served as leader, in conjunction with 1800 Tequila and Billboard Magazine, called The Refined Player’s Series.

Since 2006, Christian has worked with a number of notable artists, including Prince, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, McCoy Tyner, Marcus Miller, Eddie Palmieri, rappers Mos Def (Yasin Bey), Talib Kweli, and Vic Mensa, as well as heralded poet and musician Saul Williams.

Additionally, through his partnership with Adam’s Instruments, Christian designed a signature line of horns, the Siren Trumpet, Sirenette and Reverse Flugelhorn that are revolutionizing brass instrument design all over the world. Domestic production of Christian’s proprietary reverse flugelhorn will begin in 2018.

Christian is a scion of New Orleans’ first family of art and culture, the Harrisons, and the grandson of legendary Big Chief, Donald Harrison Sr., who lead four nations in the City’s masking tradition. The HBO series, Treme, borrowed the name “Guardians of the Flame” from the African-American cultural group Scott began “masking” as a member of with his grandfather in 1989. Christian recently became the Chief of The Brave in February 2017, one his grandfather’s early banners. In 2018, Tulane University’s acclaimed Amistad Research Center announced its archive of the Donald Harrison, Sr. legacy papers to highlight the Harrison/Scott/Nelson family’s contributions to the arts, activism, and African diaspora cultural expressions. The Harrison family’s story has been documented by Oscar-winning director, the late Jonathan Demme, in his post-Hurricane Katrina works.

Christian is dedicated to a number of causes that positively impact communities. He gives his time and talents in service to several organizations which garnered him a place in Ebony Magazine’s 30 Young Leaders Under 30. He has provided his services to Each One, Save One, NO/AIDS Task Force, Girls First, The Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, Good Work Network and numerous other community service organizations. Holding master classes, creating and participating in discussion panels, and purchasing and giving away instruments, are all part of Christian’s community based work. He has worked with Guardians Institute in New Orleans’ 9th Ward, which is dedicated to reading and fiscal literacy, cultural retention and a firm commitment to the participation of community elders and artists in uplifting and supporting youths in underserved areas of New Orleans. Christian currently sits on the Boards of Guardians Institute and The NOCCA Institute. Since Christian’s emergence on the jazz music scene, he has been a passionate and vocal proponent of human rights and an unflinching critic of injustices throughout the world.

(from artist's website)