Photos: Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC

Drummer leads illustrious 10-member ensemble in expansive concert

On Dec. 2, 2018, drummer/composer Makaya McCraven celebrated the recent release of his ambitious Universal Beings album—recorded in four cities with a dazzling array of boundary-pushing musicians—by putting on a special show in New York with 10 of those illustrious guest stars. Joining him onstage at Le Poisson Rouge (in a performance that was part of the Red Bull Music Presents concert series) were saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, and Josh Johnson; violist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson; harpist Brandee Younger; guitarist Jeff Parker; bassists Junius Paul and Dezron Douglas; vibraphonist Joel Ross; and percussionist Carlos Niño. Before a packed house, the ensemble played for almost two hours with hardly a break in the action. The buzz surrounding this show was so sizable, and the line outside the club so long, that many would-be concertgoers were shut out; luckily, Vincent Tullo of the Red Bull Content Pool was there to document the night in photographs, some of which are in the following slideshow.

Makaya McCraven and band
The full band gathers for a pre-concert photo. L to R: Brandee Younger, Dezron Douglas, Joel Ross, Junius Paul, Makaya McCraven, Jeff Parker, Josh Johnson, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Carlos Niño, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings (photo: Vincent Tullo/Red Bull Content Pool)