During his 15-year career, Akinmusire has paradoxically situated himself in both the center and the periphery of jazz, most recently emerging in both classical and hip-hop circles. He masterfully weaves inspiration from other genres, arts, and life in general into compositions that are as poetic and graceful as they are bold and unflinching. Sullivan Fortner, who has performed in Hill Auditorium as part of Joshua Redman’s MoodSwing Reunion tour (filling in for Brad Mehldau) and with Cécile McLorin Salvant, has been stretching his deep-rooted talents as a pianist for the past decade.
The longtime collaborators are preparing a concert program unique to UMS that will overlap the sonic exploration of composers and textures related to both chamber music and creative improvisation. Their duet program will consist of songs and materials inspired by the collaboration between Louis Armstrong and Earl “Fatha” Hines.