“You are somewhere between a shepherd’s song and a grand fugue-no one can tell you where. A book cannot tell you. Listen openly to your own music as it develops. It will tell you what is needed for the perfect mixture of mind and heart.”
In the realm between shepherd’s song and grand fugue, mind and heart, intuition and intellect, I increasingly find myself moving towards the center. When creating music, I aim for innovation and clarity while attempting to retain an inspired and intuitive creative process. I am driven by a strong desire to challenge listeners to explore new ways of experiencing music. With a background strongly rooted in the rich traditions of ‘jazz’, funk, and various African and Pan-American musical styles, I constantly strive for a unique and powerful voice. My goal is to incorporate elements from these diverse styles into my own music, creating an intellectually and viscerally stimulating experience. Having devoted my life to making music, I will continue to forge a path between a shepherd’s song, and a grand fugue: finding the perfect blend of mind and heart.
Now for the boring stuff:
In 2007, under the tutelage of bassist and educator Stan Poplin, Adam began a lifelong journey of honing his skills as a versatile instrumentalist, composer, and educator. While studying ‘Jazz’ at UC Santa Cruz, Adam performed regularly with various UCSC ensembles. Two years after transitioning to the double bass, Adam was accepted into the prestigious MFA program in music performance at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he studied under bassists Peter Barshay, Steven Tramontozzi, and Henry Grimes.
While studying at Mills, Adam continued his focus on the ‘Jazz’ idiom while exploring the art of free improvisation, and taking a keen interest in West African music. During this time, Adam had the privilege of performing with such diverse artists as Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, Larry Dunlap, Zeena Parkins, William Winant, Eddie Marshall, and members of the Eclipse String Quartet. Since graduating from Mills College, Adam has quickly become a highly sought after performer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching a full roster of private students on bass, drums, piano, guitar, and ukulele from his home studio in Oakland.
Characterized by a uniquely interactive and adventurous playing style, Adam continues to explore multiple avenues of performance and composition through his own original project, Kuckaw!, which melds the driving sounds of funk, soul, and disco with elements of jazz and progressive rock. Recent credits include performances with Toh Kay (Streetlight Manifesto), Familjen Kaos (Full Patte), Walk Talk (Pimps of Joytime), the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Jason “El Rubio” McGuire, Roscoe Mitchell, Lyrics Born, David Mayfield (of Cadillac Sky), American Nomad, Con Brio, the Santa Clara University Jazz Faculty, the Jorge Pineda/Larry Douglas Alltet (of Shoogie Otis), Blackbird Blackbird (STRFKR Tour), and multiple exhilarating performances at the Festival International Jazz Plaza in Havana, Cuba with Will Magid (Balkan Bump, Gramatik). In addition to leading Kuckaw!, Adam performs regularly with various Bay Area groups such as Adesoji “Soji” Odukogbe (Former guitarist of Fela Kuti), and Strike Iron, among several others.