June 2021


Vijay Iyer

Combat Art

Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer has spent his career challenging audiences and jazz convention with a flair for complex, yet satisfying, music as well as socially charged themes and performances. Iyer continues to buck the status quo and stir audience reaction with the release of his latest trio recording, Uneasy, as detailed in this month’s cover story.

  • Jeff Coffin

    Jeff Coffin, Inc.

    From Nashville to the world, the multi-instrumentalist leads the charge for musicians being entrepreneurial, creative and in control of their careers.

  • Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band

    Plays It Forward

    ​His new album with a multigenerational, über-diverse big band is the drummer’s latest push to give back artistically, and personally.

  • Indie Life — Willie Jones III

    An Homage To Fallen Heroes

    Drummer/composer Willie Jones III has recorded nearly two dozen albums on his own record label WJ3 Records, the latest release is his own, called Fallen Heroes. It’s a tribute to four recently past artists who have made a big impact on him — Roy Hargrove, Larry Willis, Jimmy Heath and Ndugu Chancler.

Blindfold Test

Guitarist Ben Monder took the Blindfold Test. Here are the tracks he checked out!

  • Marc Johnson: “Porch Swing” from The Sound of Summer Running (Verve, 1998)
  • Billy Cobham/George Duke Band: “Ivory Tattoo” from “Live” On Tour In Europe (Atlantic, 1976)
  • Larry Coryell/Emily Remler: “Six Beats, Six Strings” from Together (Concord, 1985)
  • Anthony Wilson: “Theme From Chinatown” from Jack Of Hearts (Groove Note, 2009)
  • Gary Versace: “Anchors” from All For Now (Steeplechase, 2020)
  • Julian Lage: “Tomorrow Is The Question” from Love Hurts (Mack Avenue, 2019)
  • Remy LeBoeuf: “Imperfect Paradise” from Light As A Word (Outside In Music, 2019)
  • Ted Greene: “Send In The Clowns” from Solo Guitar (Art of Life, 1977)
Also in this Issue
  • Stefon Harris Solo
  • Master Class by Ben Rubin
  • JodyJazz HR* Custom Dark Alto
  • JodyJazz HR* Custom Dark Soprano
  • Tama Star Reserve Snare
  • Tama Starphonic Snare
  • Avid Pro Tools Carbon
  • Alvarez AG60CE8SHB Guitar
  • Yorkville EXM Mobile 8
  • Revelation Mini FET
  • Zoom H8 Handy Recorder
  • Gator Hanging Guitar Bag

44th Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards
  • Tomorrow's Stars Today.

PLUS: Dozens of album reviews, product reviews and much more!