Meet the man who believes the word "jazz" is "racist at its inception."
Nicholas Payton, a trumpet ace since his teens, has embraced a new role as a Twitter agitator, the self-proclaimed “Creator of #BAM aka the Savior of Archaic Pop.” OK ... what? Well, BAM stands for Black American Music, the term Payton insists should replace jazz, or “the j-word,” which he holds to be “racist at its inception.” Cue the online flame wars, which have yet to subside. It’s too simple, however, to tag this native New Orleanian as a racial exclusivist; his own career as a leader and sideman doesn’t bear it out. His polemics are over the top, no doubt, but they’ve touched a nerve with people eager to think beyond confining categories. Case in point: Payton’s new R&B epic, Bitches, on which he plays every instrument and sings. This week at Chris’ [Black American Music] Cafe, he’ll double on trumpet and Rhodes, sometimes simultaneously, with a trio he calls XXX.
Sat., Feb. 11, 8pm and 10pm. $25-$30. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131. chrisjazzcafe.com
The Pack A.D. are built for the road
PW's Music Issue 2014