Born in Paris October 19th 1983, to drummer Stephen McCraven and Hungarian folk singer Agnes Zsigmondi, Makaya McCraven has internationally toured, performed and recorded with jazz greats such as Bobby Broom, Archie Shepp and Charles Neville.
In high school, McCraven was co-founder of the band Cold Duck Complex. They released 3 records and toured throughout the Northeast, opening for major national acts and gaining a loyal fan base.
Cold Duck Complex became a campus favorite at the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where they opened for 50 Cent, Rhazel and Reel Big Fish.
As a music major at the University, Makaya McCraven played in the University Jazz Orchestra and earned 3 Downbeat student awards.
Currently Makaya McCraven resides in Chicago and has cracked the upper echelon of the music scene.
He has performed at some of Chicago’s finest venues and festivals, including Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Green Mill, Andy’s, the Jazz Showcase, and the Velvet Lounge.
Rooted in Chicago, Makaya travels between the Midwest and East Coast. He is the Musical Director of the Pushkin, an arts collective in Greenfield, Massachusetts where he is known for throwing cultural events and recording albums with a variety of musicians.
Apollo Sunshine’s “Shall Noise Upon,” (Headless Heroes); Kris Delmhort’s “Shotgun Singer,” (Signature Sounds); Grammy nominated Seth Glier’s “The Next Right Thing”, and others.
Makaya’s background, coupled with his love for real hip hop, rock, and any other forward-thinking music that comes his way, makes for a dynamic instrumental fusion that is undeniable to the listener.
Makaya McCraven is a true improviser who, with each performance, creates a new live music experience.
“This is music made by a 21st century man who sees no need to suppress his hip hop chops or rock spirit in an effort to fit in and be dubbed a jazz drummer.” -AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky)