Flaunt magazine

If you live in Los Angeles then you’ve seen the posters emblazoned upon walls scattered around the city. Bold, white lettering set against a black backdrop. JAZZ IS DEAD. The name, provocative and unrelenting with its subject matter, sticks with you long after you’ve continued with your day. “Is Jazz really dead?” you ask yourself, as you scan through the radio station searching for something genuine, something you can’t find.
These posters originate from Figueroa Street in Highland Park, a stretch of land known more for its rapidly changing real estate than it’s acknowledgement for what came before. But unlike the developers walking down those same avenues, Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhaamad and Art Don’t Sleep founder Andrew Lojero, keeps one eye locked in on the ever-changing future with the other looking back at the past, appreciating their elders and those who shaped the rich annals of music’s past.

Jazz is Dead is not only one of LA’s most exciting live music series but it’s also the premier jazz event in the country. Taking place at the Lodge Room, a relatively new Highland Park music and comedy venue situated in a Masonic Lodge built in the 1920’s, it’s re-branded and rebuilt the relationship between jazz music and Los Angeles, a relationship so horrifically spat upon in 2016’s La La Land. In a city overrun with options, it adds another solid argument to the age-old question of ‘what should we do tonight?’ ‘See a jazz show?’

However, Jazz is Dead stands as much more than an ongoing concert series. The aforementioned Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, known as much for their individual work as their collaborative efforts (highlights from their solo and collective resumes include: A Tribe Called Quest, scoring the Netflix series Luke Cage, producing songs for Kendrick Lamar, scoring Black Dynamite, and producing and composing an album by Ghostface Killah amongst many, many other accomplishments), are the brand’s ambassadors, cofounders, and curators.

Along with Lojero, the trio has developed Jazz is Dead into a company, with future album releases, tour promotions, and, possibly, even a documentary looming somewhere in the near future. The label acts as the tour agent for Younge and Muhammad whom, as a ten-piece ensemble called The Midnight Hour , just launched a 40 date cross-country tour on September 2 in Oakland, California. The Midnight Hour tour acts as another stem in a growing partnership for the three creatives.

Flaunt spoke with Younge, Muhammad, and Lojero about what they have in store for their September 14th show with Theo Croker, how the idea for Jazz is Dead came about, and their most cherished memories of Ras G. the influential and beloved LA based beat maker and one-time performer at Jazz is Dead who sadly passed away last month.  Read the article below and check out the photographs of Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad performing as The Midnight Hour on tour now. Tickets on sale for both events here.

Read the full article/ interview here.