Luke Stewart

Stewart is one the most active musicians in the jazz scene. He is a member of James Brandon Lewis’ band, which is primarily a trio with drummer Warren “Trae” Crudup III. However, he occasionally plays as a quartet or a quintet. Crudup and Stewart also perform and record under the name Blacks’ Myths. He is also part of Heart Of The Ghost, an out-jazz group that’s released four albums; he plays trumpeter Jaimie branch’s trio with drummer Mike Pride; in 2018, he released Works For Solo Bass And Amplifier. His most prominent role is that of a member Irreversible Entanglements. This free jazz quartet is led by Camae Ayewa (also known as Moor Mother). He has been a radio DJ, and a promoter in Washington, D.C., where he presented events at venues from small DIY spaces to the Kennedy Center. Stewart is friendly and open-minded, a result of years spent trying to make music accessible to everyone. He found his way to jazz through indie and punk music. In high school, he began playing electric bass to share the joy of making music with friends. He says that he didn’t have access the Grammy bands or a jazz band in his high school. He also didn’t go on to Berklee or NEC. He doesn’t think he majored in music at any university. “It’s all experiential for me and part of a deep engaged, passion-almost practice.” He was born in Mississippi and attended Ole Miss. He was transformed by the move and began his new path. He graduated in international relations and received a minor in audioproduction. After that, he got a job at WPFW. Music-wise, it’s a group of people who are passionate and have their own music collections. There is no program director or library telling you what music to play in a given time slot. It almost felt like it was my graduate school. I just interacting with that community and the deep social justice activist community that also found a place at the station. Stewart has booked shows in D.C. Space, Gold Leaf, Union Arts, and other venues. Giovanni Russonello, Stewart’s partner in crime, started and the D.C. Jazz Loft Series concerts to promote and document jazz made in Washington. “My underground scene which is the indie scene was unable to talk about the latest indie band and that they were playing at Cafe Nema on Tuesdays. I noticed that and wanted to bring that music back into the conversation. The result was that people from my generation, who had been coming to the DIY show to see indie shows, started coming to the DIY show to see jazz.” Stewart met Camae Ayewa through his indie rock band Laughing Man. She records under the name Moor Mother. “We met in that realm, in the punk-experimental–we say punk, but it was never fully tucked into a genre. She says that this is not the way Philly works. He was in a group called Laughing Man and my band [the Mighty Paradocs] loved playing together, so we formed a kinship.” Stewart and Ayewa joined forces to perform a benefit for Musicians Against Police Brutality (NYC) in 2015. After their performance, a duo was formed: drummer Tcheser Holmes and trumpeter Aquiles Navarr. Months later, the five of them gathered in a studio to improvise their first album, Irreversible Entanglements. From bandcamp

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