The word has been building about the prodigious talent of jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (pronounced ah-KIN-moo-SEE-ray) from Oakland, California. After winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition in 2007 and honing his skills as a bandleader in New York clubs, he released his Blue Note Records debut, When the Heart Emerges Glistening, last year to rapturous critical acclaim. Ambrose Akinmusire visits Columbus and performs live at the Wexner Center performance space on May 3rd at 8pm.
When the Heart Emerges Glistening topped New York Times critic Nate Chinen’s list of the best of 2011. And, in a rave four-star review, DownBeat exclaimed, “Akinmusire’s forceful outing is as noteworthy for the strength of the overall concept as for the individual accomplishments of its leader, head-turning as they are.” That reviewer added that “the music and the band vibe are wonderfully original and current” and concluded, “clearly something very special and personal is at work here, a vision of jazz that’s more intellectually restless than blowing sessions.” Akinmusire’s touring quintet (most of whom were featured on his Blue Note CD) features tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown.