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Justin Brown: Reflecting the Now

For his debut outing, the drummer puts a modern spin on classic jazz-funk

Justin Brown
Justin Brown (photo: Hadas)

He’s clocked myriad recordings and concert performances with Ambrose Akinmusire, Vijay Iyer, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, but Justin Brown is more than just one of the greatest jazz drummers of his generation.

“To be a black artist in these times means that I have to present myself in a positive manner,” Brown says on the phone from Amsterdam. “I have to be an example for young kids who look up to me. I want to utilize my platform in an honest, positive way to give back, and to be a vessel to inspire. I’ve been given this gift to play music. The only true gratification is inspiring people and figuring out a way to give people hope through the music.”

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