The Makanda Project is a 13-piece band, based in Boston, MA, USA, formed in 2005 to explore the previously unrecorded compositions of Makanda Ken McIntyre (1931-2001). Dr. McIntyre, a tireless musical innovator for five decades, left behind an extensive body of work that had not been heard in public. Makanda Project leader and pianist John Kordalewski has at present arranged over 60 of these compositions for the large ensemble. The group also has engaged in a variety of collaborations, among them with saxophonist Chico Freeman. In addition to Mr. Freeman appearing with the band as featured soloist on certain performances, his compositions, as arranged by Mr. Kordalewski, have been incorporated into the repertoire, and are being performed by a big band for the first time.
In Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, the Makanda Project has established a strong jazz presence on a community level, having self-produced over 100 free concerts. The group has performed throughout the Eastern United States; this, however, will be their first European appearance.
The program will include compositions by both Makanda Ken McIntyre and Chico Freeman. Both composers’ work is deeply grounded in the jazz tradition while stretching boundaries in terms of harmony, rhythm, and form.