This week the BRIDGE Series features the Eric Kamau Gravatt Quartet. Show begins at 7pm. 4/10/15
An alum of Weather Report and the bands of McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Mitchell and others, Eric Kamau Gravatt essentially has had two careers in jazz with a couple decades of separation. Like John Coltrane and long-time associate McCoy Tyner, he is a native of Philadelphia. Originally a conga player, Gravatt taught percussion and music in Philadelphia and Washington, DC in the 1960s. Miles Davis invited him to join his band, but Gravatt turned down the Prince of Darkness to follow Wayne Shorter into Weather Report, with whom he toured and recorded. But Gravatt’s sound was not exactly what WR founder Joe Zawinul had in mind, and after a while Gravatt was replaced in favor of a more “bottom heavy” drummer. He moved on to the fusion band Natural Life (with Bobby Peterson and Bob Rockwell), a move that brought him to the Twin Cities some 30 years ago. Demands of family and a desire for financial stability took Gravatt out of fulltime music and into fulltime work as a guard at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes. “I had kids, and Corrections were the only thing being offered that paid that good, and they had (benefits) you couldn’t get in jazz,” Gravatt told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Only after retiring from Lino Lakes did Gravatt return to his calling, touring again with McCoy Tyner for about ten years, performing with his band, Source Code, and recently engaging in some more experimental improvisations with Adam Linz and Brandon Wozniak, and in duo with Dean Magraw that yielded a new recording, Fire on the Nile.
Eric Kamau Gravatt – Drums
Brandon Wozniak – Saxophone
Zacc Harris – Guitar
Ron Evaniuk – Bass
The BRIDGE Series provides a forum for audiences to connect and interact with top-notch Twin Cities artist-presenters who perform live at Jazz Central Studios each Friday. You can hear and engage with these cutting-edge jazz artists as they bring their improvisational passion and unique compositional approaches to Jazz Central Studios. The Bridge Series performances start at 7:30 pm. In order to provide you access to these excellent performances, we ask for a (strongly) suggested donation of $10 per person. A different cast of exemplary musicians will assemble each week to further the reach of jazz presentation in the Twin Cities jazz community.