The NOW GENERATION-AACM is a young but long associated group of accomplished AACM musicians of different timbres and styles.Representing the “Now Generation” are KHARI B, FRED JACKSON, SAALIK ZIYAD, LEON Q ALLEN (L.A) and BEN LAMAR.
Spoken word musician and educator, discopoet KHARI B works internationally as both a performer and instructor in the literary arts. Delivering powerful performances with intense instrumental accompaniment, Khari B.’s energetic nature is inextricably tied to growing up in Chicago’s House music scene and being the son of two educators—one, acclaimed woodwind player, Mwata Bowden. FRED is a multi–reedist, music educator, recording artist, arranger and composer, who studied with the late Alvin Batiste and performed with Kafele, Troy Davis, Wes Anderson, and Mark Whitfield. Since moving to Chicago he has performed or recorded with many great musicians from Ken Chaney, Renee Baker, and Perry Wilson to the late Fred Anderson. SAALIK, a composer, vocalist, lyricist, educator and arranger, was just mentioned in the August issue of Downbeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll in the Male Vocalist Rising Star Category. A silky baritone and intrepid improviser, Salik can move effortlessly from romantic ballads to octave-hopping scat to experimentation with computer-generated sounds. LEON (L.A.) attributes his international success as a trumpeter to his musical upbringing, having been exposed to music ranging from jazz, blues, and R&B to Afro-Latin. L.A. has shared the stage with such dynamic musical figures as Common, Kanye West, James Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Carl Thomas, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and Tito Puente, Jr. BEN is a prolific composer, vocalist, trumpeter, producer, and music educator who has performed, recorded, and studied with a number of significant figures in the world of music ranging from Blues to Electro and including Otis Clay, George Lewis, Douglas Ewart, Theo Parrish, Waajeed, Dee Alexander, Roscoe Mitchell, and Steve Spacek.