How Jazz Teaches Faith & Justice / Julian Reid & The JuJu Exchange
Play • 51 min

Jazz pianist Julian Reid on music, theology, and improvisation. The keys element of The JuJu Exchange uses the history of blues, gospel, and jazz to discuss how we communicate emotionally and spiritually through music, teaching an important lesson in how to live and long for home while we remain exiles. Features score from The JuJu Exchange's latest release, The Eternal Boombox. Interview by Ryan McAnnally-Linz and Evan Rosa.

Julian Reid is a Chicago-based jazz pianist and producer, writer, and performer (not to mention B.A. Yale University, and M.Div. Emory University). The JuJu Exchange is a musical partnership also featuring Nico Segal (trumpet, Chance the Rapper; The Social Experiment) and Everett Reid—exploring creativity, justice, and the human experience through their hip-hop infused jazz. Their new 5-song project is called The Eternal Boombox.

More from The JuJu Exchange: 

From the episode:

  • Cornel West, from Race Matters: “To be a jazz freedom fighter is to attempt to galvanize and energize world-weary people into forms of organization with accountable leadership that promote critical exchange and broad reflection. The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist in a jazz quartet, quintet or band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase the creative tension with the group--a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project. This kind of critical and democratic sensibility flies in the face of any policing of borders and boundaries of 'blackness', 'maleness', 'femaleness', or 'whiteness'.”
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