HOMETOWN: Oakland, Calif.
INFLUENCES: Terence Blanchard, Steve Coleman, Wayne Shorter
ALBUM: When the Heart Emerges Glistening, out now

Trumpeter Akinmusire caught the jazz world’s attention by winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, judged by the likes of Quincy Jones and Herb Alpert. He signed with the legendary Blue Note label last year and recorded When the Heart Emerges Glistening with his quintet at Brooklyn Studios. Akinmusire co-produced the album with his mentor, famed jazz pianist Jason Moran. “He’s the guy who people of my generation really look up to right now,” says Akinmusire, 29. “I think knowing he was in the control booth made everyone play harder and reach for things that we maybe would not have reached for.” The intriguing album title, Akinmusire explains, refers “to being present, emotionally invested, honest—not exclusively in our art, but in every act of expression. It’s about parting our chests to reveal ourselves to one another and to ourselves, to reflect honestly the ‘everything’ of us—the ugly, the changing, the vulnerable, the fierce, the solid, the safe.”

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