Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers
The world has been waiting quite a while for the next Jazz renaissance to start. Well world, wait no longer, it has arrived with Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers.
A renaissance is defined as “a re-birth of an intellectual and artistic achievement and vigor.” That definitely fits this group of 18 young musicians, aged 17 to 26 years from the South Jersey/Camden/Philadelphia area of the United States. The ‘old man’ at 26 years, is the magnet that pulled it all together, saxophonist, composer, arranger and director Mr. Nasir Dickerson. “Naz”, as he is affectionately called, has a Masters Degree in music education from Philly’s prestigious University of The Arts and he is preparing to pursue his Doctorate Degree.
These messengers are following in the footsteps of prior Jazz renaissance personalities like Louie, Duke, Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Miles and Trane and they are truly dedicated to adding their names to that long list of those notables, and others. Their goals are to project the inspiration of Louie, the class of Duke, the influence of Bird, the showmanship of Dizzy, the unorthodoxy of Monk, the coolness of Miles and the passion of Trane all at the same time.
Regarding the compositions: Of special note is Nasir’s “Obama Suite” which contains four compositions: Genesis, Middle Passage, The Change and Renaissance. Add to those tunes Dylan’s Light Side; Daud’s Sundiata’s Waltz; Marc’s Sunrise; and Darryl’s Special. Then, include Nasir’s other songs: Lost Friends; The Revealer; Depression of An Obsession; Sickness of The Mind; One For Lady; and Sekou’ s Ship and you’ll see that they have produced plenty of great music to help them follow in those large footsteps mentioned above.
This collection is also presenting two of the areas most popular Jazz vocalists. The group’s big sister is Philly’s Class Act, Ms. Ella Gahnt who is featured on the “Obama Suite” and their little sister Lauren Lark who is featured on “Sundiata’s Waltz.”
Now…sit back, relax, put your feet up and let Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers take you to the next level.
Submitted by Leon Mitchell