Vol. 9: Kassa Overall – Sound Mind: The Gift, Curse, and Challenge of Mental Illness
Kassa Overall belongs to a rare class of musicians naturally fluent in both jazz performance and hip-hop production. As a jazz drummer, MC, singer and producer, he innovates with the force and ingenuity of his former employer, pianist Geri Allen. On his new release, I Think I’m Good, Overall collaborates with both standard-bearers such as pianists Vijay Iyer and rising stars (vibist Joel Ross, singer J Hoard, among others) to address a range of contemporary issues, including mental illness, which he considers from personal experience and in terms of society at large.
For this event, Overall will perform music from the new album with Paul Wilson on keyboards and electronics.
Following the performance, in discussion with series host Larry Blumenfeld and guest panelist Jennifer Leff, LCSW, Senior Director, Health and Human Services at MusiCares, Overall will consider taboos and policy issues related to mental health, and its connections to creativity.
Meet the Artist:
Time Out New York has called Kassa Overall “a Renaissance man: part chopsy, super-funky jazz drummer, and part rising producer-MC.” On the heels of his critically acclaimed release, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazzhis six-concert Jazz Gallery commission, Overall—born in Seattle, now based in Brooklyn—was showcased in Terri Lyne Carrington’s acclaimed Social Science band. His second full-length album, I Think I’m Good,is the work of an artist whose voice has ripened to its own hard-earned, provocative conclusions, erasing the need to talk about dissolving barriers between hip hop and jazz because he has begun a new conversation.
Jazz and Social Justice:
This ongoing series connects the music we love with the social issues that matter to us all. Each salon blends live performance with conversation between artists, activists, and experts. Curated and hosted by journalist Larry Blumenfeld, whose previous NJMIH programs discussed Afro-Cuban influence and contemporary New Orleans.