Imagine this scenario: You’re Kendrick Scott, a young jazz musician from the American South, with significant talent, attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. For your class projects, you’re offered the opportunity to learn in real time, which is the only true way to absorb the art of improvisation. A few cats with some experience in this realm – Pat Metheny, Gary Burton and Kenny Garrett, some of the greatest living musicians – stop by to partake in your class workshops. Next thing you know, you’re spending your after-class hours playing gigs with them.
This is why musicians go to music schools – not solely for the degree, but for the opportunity to cut their teeth playing with the greatest of the greats.
Now that he’s in his 30s, Scott has amassed quite the portfolio, one that, in addition to boundary-pushing work with his own Kendrick Scott Oracle, includes a lengthy tenure with Terence Blanchard’s band, as well as concert and studio work with the likes of Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Diane Reeves, Maria Schneider, Bilal, Wayne Shorter and Roy Hargrove. Scott earned his reputation as one of his generation’s finest drummers the old-fashioned way – he worked for it.
The Kendrick Scott Oracle performs at 7:30 p.m. May 12 in the Drama Theatre, UB Center for the Arts. This show was rescheduled from Jan. 30; tickets purchased for the postponed show will be honored. Tickets are $26.50 general, $19.50 students (box office, tickets.com, ubcfa.org).
– Jeff Miers