Saturday June 22, 2024

06:00 PM - 10:00 pm

Happy 100th Max!  We’re honored to be celebrating the Centennial of the legendary Max Roach – virtuoso drummer, percussionist, bebop pioneer and a fierce advocate of change, with an All-Star lineup of 25+ of LA’s finest musicians, dancers, poets and artists.

“Jazz is a very democratic musical form. It comes out of a communal experience. We take our respective instruments and collectively create a thing of beauty.” Max Roach


6:00pm – DJ Welcome set LeRoy Downs (KCRW, JUST JAZZ)
7:15pm – String Quartet invocation
7:20pm – Journey through Max’s ensembles + poetry, dance
8:30pm – Period of calm and reset
8:45pm –  M’Boom ensemble, Vocals, Double Quartet w/Strings, Choir, finalé
10:00pm – The Drum Also Rests – Good Night

Free w/ RSVP on Eventbrite


Come experience the groundbreaking and timeless sounds and selections of Max Roach’s stunningly diverse seven-decade career as one of the great musical artists of the 20th century and a pioneering cultural activist.

Max’s career was an epic musical journey – from the revolutionary Jazz of the 1940s to the Civil Rights years, through experiments in hip hop, percussion ensembles, strings and choirs, multi-media works, dance, poetry and beyond.

The Celebration includes:

Drums: Michael Carvin | Jonathan Pinson | Tommaso Cappellato | Dr. Jaz Sawyer

Percussion: Alan Lightner | Munyungo Jackson | Dexter Story | Nakeiltha Campbell | Gabriel Slam Nobles

Vocals: Jimetta Rose, Steven Kellye, Aankha Neal

Poetry: aja monet w/ Justin Brown

Dance: Cuba Swift

Piano / Keys: Brandon Coleman

Upright bass: Jeff Littleton

Sax: Logan Richardson

Sax: Devin Daniels

Trombone: Ryan Porter

Trumpet: Tatiana Tate

Trumpet: Todd Simon

ICYOLA String Quartet

(Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles)

Choir: Jimetta Rose | Aankha | StevenKellye | Tamina
(of The Voices of Creation)

Visuals: Professor Nalepa

DJ Welcome set: LeRoy Downs (Just Jazz / KCRW)

JAZZ VINYL BOOTH: Healing Force of the Universe | Jacknife Records
Curated selection of Rare and New jazz classics; jazz books and more …

Music Director – Dr. Jaz Sawyer

M’Boom Music Director – Alan Lightner

Producer, Curator – Jonathan Rudnick (Worlds Alive)

Design – Lexx Valdez

This FREE, ALL AGES Community Gathering is supported by FUSICOLOGYGIANT STEPJUST JAZZ

“I will never again play anything that does not have social significance. We American jazz musicians of African descent have proved beyond all doubt that we are master musicians of our instruments. Now what we have to do is employ our skill to tell the dramatic story of our people and what we’ve been through.” Max Roach

Beyond virtuosity, Max Roach was an innovator, on the cutting edge of every Jazz advent since BeBop. A formidable composer, he understood and played at the optimum every Jazz style, even those developed before his birth.

In a career lasting over 60 years Max performed, recorded and collaborated from his teens with the all time greats from Dizzy Gillespie, to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Abdullah Ibrahim to avant gardists Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor and embraced early hip hop with his Godson Fab Five Freddy though to poetry and dance.

Most striking to the Max Roach bandstand was his insistence that the music speak morally and politically. The message that freedom is inherent in all Jazz is forthrightly stated in Max Roach’s music and was highlighted during the American Civil Rights Movement by his “WE INSIST! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite” a timeless inspiring classic to this day.

Max Roach’s social consciousness often led to doors being closed to him, yet he expanded his career and its variety. He taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; formed and directed an all-percussion orchestra, M-Boom; and attached a string quartet, Maxine Roach’s Uptown String Quartet, to his own working foursome, the Max Roach Double Quartet. Later, Max would create a brass band, the So What Brass. The compositional side of Max Roach also expanded and he was an ever-present force in The Third Stream, the blending of Western Classical and Jazz.

A broad-based percussionist, who was a pioneer in establishing a fixed pulse on the ride cymbal instead of the bass drum, Roach also collaborated with voice, string, and brass ensembles, lectured on college campuses extensively, and composed music for dance, theater, film, and television.

Please join us for this Centennial Celebration honoring the Jazz Hall of Fame’s illustrious Max Roach, bebop pioneer, virtuoso percussionist and bandleader and fierce advocate for change and justice in an Evening filled with rhythm and passion for all generations.

The Drum most certainly Also Waltzes!

Presented by Worlds Alive

Produced and Curated by Jonathan Rudnick and Grand Performances


Produced and curated by Worlds Alive’s Jonathan Rudnick, the grateful co-producer of previous heartwarming Grand Performances tributes and celebrations ‘Peace Go with You Gil’ (for Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson); ‘Young Gifted & Nina (on Nina Simone’s 80th Anniversary); ‘People Get Ready’ The Soundtrack of the Civil Right Movement and ‘Wattstax Revisited’. Jonathan is the co-founder of the renowned Giant Step and Groove Academy from NYC and is once again based in LA as a cultural attaché in music, film and the arts.

Honored to be paying homage to the legendary Max Roach on his Centennial year with this exciting ensemble of 30+ artists inspired by Max’s legacy. The Drum most certainly Waltzes!

Music Director – Dr. Jaz Sawyer

“A brilliant drummer and musician!” – Abbey Lincoln

Acclaimed drummer, educator and bandleader, Jaz Sawyer has worked with many formidable artists, from Wynton Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln, George Benson to Jane Ira Bloom, Bobby Hutcherson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herb Alpert and others. He is a former Adjunct Professor at California State University, and served as Jazz Ambassador for the US Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. Sawyer was Abbey Lincoln’s drummer for 10 years, and has produced Max Roach related events such as the Freedom Now Suite feat. Jazzmeia Horn at Stanford University to the ‘Buddy Rich verses Max Roach’ Drum Battle at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and performed with Joe Chambers and Warren Smith of M’Boom. Jaz is passionate about youth music education and has been part of outreach music programs in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York.

Saturday June 22, 2024

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

All Ages

Cover: FREE

Los Angeles, MAX ROACH ‘The Drum Also Waltzes’ Centennial Celebration