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New Visions of Jazz

Welcome to the New Visionaries issue, our thinly veiled version of the compulsory “Where Is Jazz Headed?” edition. We hope the answer provided here is hopeful; it was laborious choosing from a grand pool of hotshot young players, mainly because we strived to avoid them, bypassing the glissando-happy prodigies in favor of charm and conceptual ingenuity.

The magnificent seven, let’s call them, occupy some miraculous middle ground-the same space (dare I say) Miles and Coltrane made musical homes in: they’re not at all histrionic, yet they’re also not trying to actively avoid the century of jazz music that predates them (our cover says “New Jazz Visionaries,” not “Nu-Jazz Visionaries”). Instead, jazz runs in their veins alongside contemporary tributaries like hip-hop, indie-rock and pop. Some have a business-minded infrastructure to work the PR angles (cover subject Esperanza Spalding), and some have to navigate music careers with self-made machinery (Marcus Strickland), but they’re all ingenious.

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