Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah
(formally Christian Scott)

Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott), is a two-time Edison Award winning and five-time Grammy Award nominated musician, composer and producer. He is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr. His musical tutelage began under the direction of his uncle at the age of thirteen. After graduating from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2001, Adjuah received a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he earned a degree in Professional Music and Film Scoring thirty months later.

Since 2002, Adjuah has released twelve critically acclaimed studio recordings, three live albums and one greatest hits collection. According to NPR, Adjuah “ushers in new era of jazz”. He has been heralded by JazzTimes Magazine as “Jazz’s young style God.” Adjuah is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell” and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece. The technique is known as his “whisper technique.” Adjuah is also the progenitor of “Stretch Music,” a jazz rooted, genre blind musical form that attempts to “stretch” jazz’s rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass multiple musical forms, languages and cultures.

The 2015 release of the recording Stretch Music marked the partnership between  Adjuah’s Stretch Music record label and Ropeadope Records. Critics and fans alike have praised the recording. Stretch Music is also the first recording to have an accompanying app, for which Adjuah won the prestigious JazzFM Innovator of the year Award in 2016. The Stretch Music App is an interactive music player that allows musicians the ability to completely control the practicing, listening and learning experience by customizing the player to fit their specific needs and goals.

Jonathan Michel: Black Wonders Quintet

Jonathan Michel, a native of Connecticut and son of Haitian immigrants, cultivated his passion for music from an early age under the guidance of his father, a talented singer and guitarist. Introduced to the guitar at four years old, Jonathan’s musical journey commenced, eventually leading him to explore the piano and trombone before discovering his true calling with the electric bass at the age of nine.

Jonathan’s upbringing in a musically enriched household laid the groundwork for his formal education in music at Central Connecticut State University. There, he immersed himself in coursework focused on Double Bass Performance. Complementing his academic pursuits, Jonathan pursued private studies under the mentorship of esteemed bassists such as Mario Pavone, Ron Carter, Charles Fambrough, Roy Wiseman, and Volkhon Orhon, enriching his understanding of the intricacies of the bass.

Following his academic pursuits, Jonathan embarked on a transformative journey through the dynamic jazz scenes of Philadelphia and New York City. Over the span of 15 years, he has emerged as a distinguished figure in the music industry, leaving an enduring mark as a bassist, composer, educator, and curator.

Jonathan’s professional portfolio as a Bass Performer is both diverse and extensive. He has collaborated with a notable array of artists across various genres and styles, including jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, vocal virtuosos such as Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage. His experiences touring nationally and internationally have broadened his musical horizons and refined his craft to perfection.

As a Music Director, Jonathan has helmed performances for esteemed artists like Billy Paul, Melanie Charles, and Emeline Michel. His role as a curator and consultant has seen him spearhead transformative events at venues such as Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia and the renowned Smalls Jazz Club in New York City.

Jonathan’s dedication to education is evident in his role as a Teaching Artist, fostering partnerships with prestigious institutions such as  Carnegie Hall and the Tri-C Creative Arts Music Program, as well as collaborations with the US State Department. Through these engagements, he shares his expertise and passion for music, enriching the lives of students and communities alike.

Jonathan has also made significant contributions as a Producer and Composer. His productions for artists like Willerm Delisfort and Mary Akpa have garnered acclaim, while his commissioned work with the internationally celebrated dance group iLuminate, featured on SHERRI, showcased his ability to transcend musical boundaries and collaborate across artistic disciplines. A pivotal moment in Jonathan’s career came with the release of his debut album, “Jonathan Michel: MDR,” in 2018 on Imani Records, produced by Orrin Evans. This landmark achievement underscored Jonathan’s prowess as a composer and performer, earning recognition within the music industry as a recording artist and
bandleader. Notable highlights include Jonathan headlining the esteemed BRIC Jazz Fest in 2023, captivating audiences with his magnetic stage presence and exceptional talent. The same year marked the debut of “Jonathan Michel: Caribbean Diaspora Big Band,” with sold-out shows at Dizzy’s Club in NYC, showcasing his innovative vision and musical depth. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, equity, and innovation, Jonathan Michel continues to shape the cultural landscapes of New York City, Philadelphia, and beyond. His enduring impact on the music scene resonates far and wide, promising a legacy of inspiration for years to come.

Conversation with
J. Michael Harrsion of WRTI and Chief Adjuah

J. Michael Harrison’s first radio show, WPEB’s “Is That Jazz” launched in June of 1993. In 1994 he began volunteering with WRTI as a production assistant. In 1996, J. Michael debuted his own program, The Bridge, which continues to air Friday evenings on WRTI.

The Bridge was selected as Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Radio Program” in 2002, and in 2007, the Philadelphia City Paper called it the “Best On-Air Reminder That Jazz Didn’t Die in 1965.”

The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and the Performing Arts made him a Stakeholder in 2016 and invited him to participate on their Advisory Board. In October of 2022, J. Michael was hired as an Education Coordinator by the Clef Club. J. Michael has also recently joined the Rosenbach Museum’s Programming Committee. He was presented the Above & Beyond award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts & Culture by the People’s Emergency Center in 2017, that same year the Jazz Journalist Association named him a “Jazz Hero.”

Since 2008 he has taught a music journalism class at the University of the Arts and recently developed and premiered a new class, Philadelphia’s Musical Sound, as an undergraduate offering.

He’s presented lectures to students in the Philadelphia School District, Temple University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has written liner notes, has sat on and moderated panels, has curated series, produced events, and hosted concerts in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, and New Orleans. He was executive producer on Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s 1999 CD BrotherZone. He’s worked closely with the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Philadelphia, Jazz Bridge, Jazz Near You, The Painted Bride Art Center, The Producers Guild, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, The Rosenbach Museum, and other organizations.

Additionally, Mike has curated and produced much of WRTI’s jazz video content for the NPR Live Sessions platform since 2017.