One of my favorite collaborators and the bassist of the MJ New Quartet, Marcus Shelby is a force to be reckoned with as a composer, creator, and social justice advocate. His composition and performance in playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith's latest creation Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education has been nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music in a Play. The docu-drama dissects the conveyor belt from school to incarceration for African Americans in the United States with Deavere taking on 17 roles based on scores of interviews.
I'm delighted to share that my "Blues for Masters" is being used in a Portland Art Museum promotion for the Constructing Identity exhibit that has taken my spring by storm.
I am honored to be named Portland's JJA Jazz Hero for 2017. You can read more about the 20 heroes across the nation, and how they are championing jazz in their communities in the thoughtful bios here.
On Saturday, about 60 peopled joined me in the Elliott State Forest to make a stand for keeping the 82,000 acres of trees public. Today, I will be on OPB's Think Out Loud radio program to talk about our adventure. You can also see a few pictures from the event online here.