Bild på James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet

James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet

Tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis brings his Red Lily Quintet to jazz club Fasching for an evening where he and the band pay tribute to iconic gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Starting from the album For Mahalia, With Love, which was released in 2023, Brandon Lewis takes a deep dive into the gospel he first encountered in church. The gospel that was Jackson’s and that he inherited from his grandmother who met Mahalia Jackson’s singing live.

Lewis incorporates aspects of Mahalia’s phrasing and ornamentation into his own playing. He handles songs like Calvary, Wade In The Water and Elijah Rock with the familiarity of someone raised in the tradition. But he also approaches them as a jazz musician who understands that interpretation is the essence. These gospel classics are not performed with lofty reverence, but as raw material for improvisation and creative interpretation.

New York-born James Brandon Lewis comes from gospel music but turned to jazz in his 30s. The debut album Divine Travels came in 2014 and the tenth album Jesup Wagon was named by Downbeat’s critics as the album of the year 2022.

Tenor legend Sonny Rollins has said of Lewis that:

“When I listen to you, I listen to Buddha, I listen to Confucius…I listen to the deeper meaning of life. You are keeping the world in balance.”

So speaks master Rollins, now you can meet James Brandon Lewis’ gospel-folk-blues-oozing jazz at Kungsgatan 63.


James Brandon Lewis’ Red Lily Quintet

James Brandon Lewis, tenor sax

Kirk Knuffke, cornet

Tomeka Reid, cello

Silvia Bolognesi, bass

Chad Taylor, drums