Black Art Jazz Collective (BAJC) debuted in 2013 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Led by Downbeat Critics Poll Winner and Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, the group celebrates African American icons through original compositions. BAJC is dedicated to celebrating African American Icons through originally composed music while serving as a positive role-model for young African-Americans and young musicians of all ethnicities worldwide. Other musicians include trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, voted “Rising Star” five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine; trombonist James Burton III, who is currently professor of jazz theory at the Juilliard School as well as conductor of the renowned Juilliard Jazz Orchestra; acclaimed pianist Victor Gould; bassist Corcoran Holt, whose rise in the jazz scene make him a “must-hear” artist; and the drummer Mark Whitfield Jr., an exciting young talent who has already established his name in the music scene.
The BAJC recording Black Art Jazz Collective Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club (in Old Lyme) received 4.5 stars from DownbeatMagazine. The Collective’s latest release Armor of Pride has received rave reviews and was number two on the Jazz charts for several weeks just behind John Coltrane’s Both Directions at Once.