Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

Makaya McCraven drumming extraordinare teams up with his trusty sampler and other electronic gizmos in a mashup of man and machine. Coming together at the cross roads of jazz and hip hop mixed with world rhythms and rock Makaya forges new ground in production, improvisation and music as we know it.


Makaya Marcus McCraven, drummer, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist has been impressing crowds for almost two decades. His explosive drumming blends world rhythms and jazz traditions with a hip hop and rock attitude. Mixing music is not new to Makaya: his parents, drummer Stephen McCraven and Hungarian folk singer Agnes Zsigmondi, introduced him to eclectic sounds touring with him while he was still in the womb. Now, he has taken their influences and developed his own unique style. At age 24 he has internationally toured and performed with jazz greats such as Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Charles Neville, Billy Taylor and many more. He has shared the stage with such acts as Wutang, Digable Planets, The Pharcyde, Mixmaster Mike, the Wailers, and the list goes on. Destined to be a musician before his birth, Makaya McCraven brings fresh life to music, merging old traditions with new sounds.

Born in Paris October 19th 1983, Makaya McCraven was exposed to the vast musical possibilities of the world. His father started him on drum lessons before he could hold a stick by practicing with his hands as a toddler. He also accompanied his mother to University of Massachusetts, sitting in on her classes as well as the voice lessons she instructed. By the time Makaya was 5 he was performing with a drum ensemble “The CMSS Bashers.” He has been performing ever since. In high school, Makaya was co-founder of the band, Cold Duck Complex. They have released 3 records and toured throughout the Northeast, opening for major national acts and gaining a loyal fan base. Cold Duck Complex became a campus favorite at the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where they opened for 50 Cent, Rhazel and Reel Big Fish. As a music major at the University, Makaya played in the University Jazz Orchestra and earned 3 down beat awards.

Currently Makaya resides in Chicago and has performed with numerous groups in the city and on tour. Within just two years in Chicago, Makaya has already played with some of the city's most respected jazz musicians, including Bobby Broom (Sonny Rollins), Bobby (Baabe) Irving (Miles Davis), Corey Wilkes, Henry Johnson, and Ari Brown. He has performed at some of Chicago's finest venues and festivals, including Milllenium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Greenmill, the Jazz Showcase, and the Velvet Lounge. Rooted in Chicago, Makaya travels between the Midwest and East Coast. He is the Musical Director of the Pushkin, an arts collective in Greenfield, Massachusetts where he is known for throwing cultural events and recording albums with a variety of musicians.

Now working on his first album, this young drummer has contributed to a number of recordings with artists representing a spectrum of styles: Apollo Sunshine's "Shall Noise Upon," (Headless Heroes); Kris Delmhort's "Shotgun Singer," (Signature Sounds); Mathias Ockert's "Survey," (Simmer Music), and others.

Makaya’s background, coupled with his love for real hip hop, rock, and any other forward-thinking music that comes his way, makes for a dynamic instrumental fusion that is undeniable to the listener. Makaya is a true improviser who, with each performance, creates a new live music experience.



"Faut Que C' A Danse" Archie Shepp
(Nominated for best original score The Cesar Awards (The National Film Award of France))

"Shotgun Singer" Kris Delmhorst (Signature Sounds)

"Shall Noise Upon" Apollo Sunshine (Headless Heroes)

"Pass it On" Barry Kingston (Spirit House Records)

"Survey" Matthias Ockert (Simmer Music)

"Pull The Shades" Frain Dunlap Jazz Trip (Simmer Music)

"Spoke" John Micheals (Simmer Music)

"Figureheads" Cold Duck Complex

"Enough" Cold Duck Complex

"Offering" Jeff D'antona Trio

"GMG" GMG Trio

"At The Root" Leah Randazzo

"Bushwick is the new Black" Tatyana Tenenbaum

"Picasso Tomato" Doug Hewitt

Set List

45 min sets of original compostion production and improvisation.