December 20th, 2022 9:30pm Stage 2
Is it fair to call Julius Rodriguez and the community of young artists he works with jazz's new vanguard? The 23-year-old musician does not bristle at that four-letter word the way many of his colleagues who practice great Black American Music do. Having studied jazz since childhood, attending its prominent youth programs and learning institutions while developing a playing dexterity and a composer's ear for its blues-, spirituals-, and ballad-related cornerstones, Julius recognizes jazz's cultural value and the processes that further its prestige as America's classical music. But what becomes abundantly apparent from listening to Let Sound Tell All, Rodriguez's debut album, is that, schooled though he may be in jazz's conventions, Julius doesn't believe in the limitations by which jazz's guardians have come to define it.