Enoch Jamal “E.J.” Strickland
Is the world-class, drummer, composer and artist you could have heard on many many albums in the last decade. The Miami native grew up in a creative household, where his dad was a percussionist in the Ft. Lauderdale Orchestra; his twin brother Marcus played the saxophone; and where E.J. beat on pots, pans, and tables until he finally got his hands on the drums. And it was already in middle school that he knows that jazz was his calling. E.J. went to the New School in New York to further his jazz education, that would introduce him to greater technical ability and meet teachers like Reggie Workman, Buster Williams and Billy Harper. E.J. quickly graduated into New York’s gigging jazz scene, playing early on with Russell Malone and Ravi Coltrane. Since then, Strickland has built a successful career as a composer, bandleader, educator, and sideman. He’s toured, performed, and recorded with some of the
greatest names in contemporary music: Cassandra Wilson, Terence Blanchard, Lizz Wright, Wynton Marsalis, George Colligan, David Gilmore, Vincent Herring, and Nnenna Freelon, to name a few.
Warriors for Peace
Influenced by Latin, Afro-beat, hip-hop, and tribal music, he’s a multifaceted performer and composer, none so apparent as on In This Day, his debut album. Featuring the E.J. Strickland Quintet, the album is deepened in tone and texture by its guest appearances: from its traditional horn players, to the unique choices of harpist, hand percussionists, and spoken word poet. His last project is called “Warriors for Peace” and is a clear call to the world of today. E.J. Strickland continues to clear a path for himself in the jazz world, and beyond—a path that will grow wider in the years to come.
With the quintet E.J. Strickland treats audiences to a stacked
lineup of first-call musicians: Jure Pukl on tenor & soprano saxes, Godwin Louis on altsax, pianist Victor Gould and Josh Ginsburg on contrabas. Though E.J. Strickland calls the shots from behind the drum kit, each member is an acclaimed improviser who enjoys an equal share of the spotlight in this group. The quintet plays a dynamic range of straight-ahead jazz and stirring post-bop that is sophisticated and exciting in its execution, while also notably groove-oriented and vamp-heavy, providing a welcome entry point for listeners of varying tastes in jazz. We would say: don’t miss this concert!
EJ Strickland Quintet - Warriors for Peace trailer
EJ Strickland Quintet - Uvumilivu