Makaya McCraven with special guest Meshell Ndegeocello

Jan 19, 2024
Makaya McCraven


“One of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality” (The New York Times).

Drummer and Chicagoan Makaya McCraven, aptly referred to as a “cultural synthesizer,” has a unique gift for blending past, present and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted, 21st century folk music. For one illuminating evening, he is joined by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Meshell Ndegeocello.

Alto saxophone
Junius Paul
Bass and vocals


Preconcert Dining

Enhance your concert experience by dining at Forte featuring contemporary Mediterranean cuisine or the Thomas Club featuring traditional American fare. Learn more »

Merchandise Sales

Visit the merchandise table in the lobby to purchase selections from Makaya McCraven’s critically acclaimed discography, including his newest release, In These Times. Merchandise will be available before, during and after the concert.


Funding for educational programs during the 2023/24 Season of SCP Jazz has been generously provided by Dan J. Epstein, Judith Guitelman and the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation. The CSOA thanks the Epstein Family Foundation for ten consecutive years of generous, innovative support for the SCP Jazz Education program.

Discover more on Experience CSO
Chicago-based drummer, producer and composer Makaya McCraven sometimes refers to himself as a jazz musician. But he refuses to be limited by that label — or be boxed in by the genre or anyone’s expectations: "I’m looking to be inspired and learn and be in a moment of growth."
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Genre-bending singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello just received a Grammy nomination for “The Omnichord Real Book,” a visionary and jazz-influenced album that marks her debut on the venerable Blue Note Records label.
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Jazz icon Herbie Hancock marks another milestone this month: the 70th anniversary of his debut at Orchestra Hall. At age 11, after winning a CSO Youth Auditions, he appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 5, 1952.
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