“Lafayette Gilchrist lives in Baltimore but grew up in D.C., knee-deep in the city's go-go music and hip-hop. Go-go dance beats inform his piano the same way freight-train boogie-woogie does. Players like EubieBlake, James P. Johnson and Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials. If there's one thing Lafayette Gilchrist loves, it's feeding a groove like that. There's something trance-inducing about dance music in general, and in the textured patterns that Lafayette Gilchrist plays at the keyboard. His two-handed piano also has techno and minimalism behind it. It's not just about the notes; it's also about the waves in which they come, and the troughs in between.” Kevin Whitehead-NPR Fresh Air
Lafayette Gilchrist leads the New Volcanoes and the Sonic Trip Masters All Stars. Gilchrist's bands are genre-defying; featuring a propulsive rhythm section and a dynamic horn line, which never fails to raise the roof. His solo work and trio Inside Out invite adventurous ears everywhere.
While steadily leading his Baltimore-based bands with a progressive stream of new music, Lafayette Gilchrist toured with David Murray in his octet and quartets for 13 years. During his time with Murray, he has performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival, recorded on Murray’s Sacred Ground EP for the National Hungarian Radio and Television, and played the Winter Jazz Festival and Vision Jazz Festival in NYC to name a few. He has performed with notable artists such as Carl Grubbs, David Murray, Cassandra Wilson, Macy Gray, Oliver Lake, Marshall Keys, Orrin Evans, Paul Dunmall, Allyn Johnson, TK Blue, Robert Shahid, Alan Blackman, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Tarus Mateen and many more. His compositions, Assume the Positionand Coded Sources, are a part of the original score for David Simon’s The Wire and Treme, respectively. Gilchrist was a recipient of the 2009 Independent Music Award for Best Album-Jazz for Soul Progressin’. Gilchrist was also a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions Master/Apprentice award in which he mentored Ethan Simon in 2010.
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"...the heir to Thelonious Monk.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Imagine pianist Billy Preston in the FBI witness protection program; he hides out in the Washington, D.C., go-go scene and then the jazz underground; he invents an unlikely pseudonym to go with his new style: a sort of twisted, funky, neo-juke-joint avant-gut-bucket."
— Detroit Metro Times
“...it's Gilchrist’s cussed willingness to continually put a Baltimore-centric stamp on jazz that has made him the city's most respected pianist.”
— Baltimore City Paper