James Gaiters & Watu Utungo From appearances with Wynton Marsalis at the Village Vanguard, network television features and performances at world-famous jazz festivals, join exceptional drummer/composer, James Gaiters, & his band as they bring together Afro-pop, soul jazz, R&B, hip-hop & gospel sounds as Watu Utungo (Swahili for "Rhythmic People"). Featuring Eddie Bayard, Lee Savory, Myles Tate, Krate Digga, Dwight Bailey, James Gaiters.

Friday, July 28

Throughout his powerful and favorably blessed career, James has appeared with many of the world’s greatest artists. James has been a featured performer with Wynton Marsalis at New York’s world renowned Village Vanguard. He has received accolades the world over as he was featured on a world tour with RCA/Victor recording artist D. D. Jackson. James’ powerfully musical voice has also led to nationally and internationally televised features on BET on Jazz (Jazz Central, Knitt TV), BET (Jazz Central), a Jazz Documentary in Tokyo, Japan, and an educational feature for TV Ontario.

James has also been featured on some of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals, such as: The Newport Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Du Marier Montreal Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival (Saratoga), Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, Indianapolis Jazz Festival, & Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival. James is an annual feature, with his own band, on the Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival in Columbus, Ohio. As well, James has been featured with the likes of Frank Foster, Andrew White, David Murray, Donald Walden, James Carter, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Joey DeFrancesco, Mulgrew Miller, and Jimmy Smith, just to name a few. His divine musical gifting has also allowed for him to share the world’s stage with a who’s who of celebrities, spanning from Neena Freelon to James Earl Jones, to the one and only Dr. Bill Cosby. As an expanded display of his versatility, James has toured nationally, and internationally with New York based musician/actor/poet, David Gonzales and his off-Broadway production, Mytholojazz, appearing in major theaters, venues, and universities around the world. James has been featured, along with his band MUV-MeNT, as a part of “African Portraits,” an amazing musical celebration of African America’s contribution to the world of art through music, composed, produced, and performed by world renowned composer/musician, Hannibal Lokumbe.
He has also contributed to the recorded works of several national recording artists in both the gospel music and jazz scene. James is most definitely on the list of tasteful drummers with his musicality, finesse, and power; always contributing to a greater effect.
In addition to his incredible contributions as a sideman, James Gaiters, Jr. is a prolific composer, arranger, and producer, and has written, produced, and released “LOOKING BACK AHEAD,” a CD featuring his own group, MUV-MeNT. This recording features Edwin Bayard (saxophone), Lovell Bradford (piano), Rodney Whitaker (bass), Derrick Gardner (trumpet), and Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson (alto sax).
Join us at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome this hard-grooving group to the Rubber City for an exciting night of top-shelf live music – get your tickets today! Featuring Eddie Bayard (saxophone), Lee Savory (trumpet), Myles Tate (keyboard), Krate Digga (turntables), Dwight Bailey (bass), James Gaiters (drums).

8:00 pm


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BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017)*
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.