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Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven

w/ Blood Moon
$15 GA
Ages 18+

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About This Event

Based on the latest local guidelines, attendees are no longer required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test AND/OR vaccination for entry into this event. Other shows on our calendar may still have specific health and safety requirements based on artist request.  Be sure to check our venue website for the latest updates and guidelines as entry requirements are subject to change.


Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. The bleeding edge drummer, producer, and sonic collagist is one of Chicago’s savviest cultural players and a multi-talented force whose inventive process & intuitive, cinematic style defy categorization.

French-born but raised in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts by expatriate musician parents, McCraven studied Jazz at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the mentorship of jazz luminaries Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, and Yusef Lateef, and eventually went on to develop his chops in Chicago’s burgeoning scene.

His breakthrough album In the Moment was released with International Anthem Recording Co. (IARC) in 2015 and received widespread acclaim, proving to be a dramatic statement by McCraven that quickly launched him into the vanguard of not only Internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers blurring the boundaries of jazz & electronic music.

His recent releases, the DJ-style mixtape Highly Rare (IARC, 2017) as well as an internationally recorded Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape) (IARC, 2018) have been well received globally, leading to increased bookings in some of the world’s best clubs, theaters, and festivals alongside the likes of Corey Wilkes, Bobby (Baabe) Irving (Miles Davis), Ari Brown, and Bernie Worrell.

McCraven is currently on tour and most recently released Universal Beings, a 2xLP album featuring an A-list of “new” jazz players from New York, Chicago, London & Los Angeles.


Tony Barba-tenor saxophone & bass clarinet

Matt Gold-electric guitar

John Christensen-upright & electric bass

Devin Drobka-drums and electronics

Tony Barba’s Blood Moon quartet features compositions written specifically for this regional cast of stellar musicians based on inspirations from the lunar eclipse of January 2019. Based in Madison, WI, Barba (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet) utilizes the talents of fellow local bassist John Christensen, while also employing Chicago’s own Matt Gold on guitar and Milwaukee’s Devin Drobka on drums and sample pads. The sounds of the group pay tribute to Barba’s vast range of influences including nods to jazz, reggae, pop, rock, Latin and ambient music. The resulting album entitled Blood Moon was released in April 2020 on Shifting Paradigm records.

“Blood Moon sounds fresh and unique. The blending of genres comes across as natural and demonstrates Barba’s knack for composition as well as his focused saxophone-playing. His collaborators are able to give these songs what they need, making it an engaging set of mostly strong displays.” -Friedrich Kunzmann, All About Jazz

“While the energy is high at times, this is mostly a contemplative album that prioritizes composition over adventurous improvisation, though there are plenty of engaging solos. Blood Moon isn’t afraid to show its softer side, but never sinks into easy listening territory. It’s a jazz album, but many of the tunes favor straightforward harmonies over fancy jazz chords.” -Bob Jacobson, Tone Madison

High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue
Madison, 53703