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'The Music Of Max Roach' Celebrates The Centennial Of The Legendary Jazz Drummer And Composer On Thursday, February 15, 2024


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Concert features New England Conservatory faculty member Nasheet Waits, who performed with Roach in his historic percussion ensemble M’Boom.
New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department marks the centennial of a great American jazz drummer and composer with The Music of Max Roach on Thursday, February 15, at 8 p.m. in NEC’s Burnes Hall. NEC faculty member and drummer Nasheet Waits, who performed with Roach in his historic percussion ensemble M’Boom, curates the event and joins NEC students in a program featuring a full performance of We Insist! The Freedom NowSuite and other music. A pioneer of bebop, Roach worked in many other styles of music and is generally considered one of the most important drummers in jazz history. Admission is free. For information, visit necmusic.edu.

Drummer Nasheet Waits is a New York native. His interest in playing drums was encouraged by his father, legendary percussionist Frederick Waits, who played with jazz greats including Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Cecil Tyner, McCoy Tyner, and many others. Waits studied at Morehouse in Atlanta, majoring in psychology and history before moving on to Long Island University to graduate with a B.A. in music. There, he studied with Michael Carvin, who helped lay a foundation upon which Waits added influences from his father, his mentor Max Roach, and percussionist Fred King. Waits was a member of Roach’s renowned percussion ensemble M’Boom. He’s also performed with Antonio Hart, Andrew Hill, Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Greg Osby, Tarus Mateen, and others. Waits, Moran, and Mateen (as part of Moran’s ensemble Bandwagon) have been called “the most exciting rhythm section in jazz” by JazzTimes. Nasheet Waits Equality began in 2007 with Logan Richardson, Marc Ducret, and Oliver Lake. Other projects have seen Waits collaborating with artists including Bennie Maupin, Alyson Shotz, Christian McBride, David Murray, Mark Turner, Stanley Cowell, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Eddie Gomez, Gerri Allen, Hamiett Bluiett, Steve Coleman, Tony Malaby, Antoine Roney, Wallace Roney, and The Mingus Big Band, among others. Waits has recorded and toured extensively in Africa, Europe, Japan, Canada, South America, and the United States.

About New England Conservatory (NEC)

Founded by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new model of music school that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school stands at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts at the renowned Jordan Hall. Propelled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify musicians’ impact on advancing our shared humanity, and empowers students to meet today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to forge multidimensional lives of artistic depth and relevance.

As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools. It cultivates a diverse, dynamic community, providing music students of more than 40 countries with performance opportunities and high-caliber training from 225 internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of music-making and teaching through college-level training in classical, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Through unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships, it empowers students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC’s mission to make lifelong music education available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.

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