When my husband, Michael asked me which artists I wanted to see at the 2016 San Jose Jazz Summer Festival, I had no idea except for Bobby Caldwell and Goapele two of the headline artist, so I searched the line-up to see who I could fit into our busy event schedule.
The artist that I selected was Masego (real name Micah Davis) after listening to his song “Girls That Dance” on YouTube. As we headed over to the Post Street Stage one of the many stages at the San Jose Jazz Fest you could hear that thump of trap, hip hop and jazz mix of music that made you want to dance. I loved it.
Masego is a 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist – he plays the saxophone, piano, drums guitar, cello and many other instruments and he’s a singer. On stage he showed his talents by playing several instruments much like a one man band and he showed his comedic style as well as an impromptu rap about two cute girls in the audience. Masego has real talent and I love his style of music which he calls TrapHouseJazz. It merges traditional jazz sounds – saxophone, scatting with the thump of trap music and house.
Masego was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to an American mother and Jamaican father. His father is a pastor in the military so they moved around a lot when Masego was little settling in Newport News, Virginia. His mother is also a pastor, specifically the minister of music at their church. Church was a strong presence in Masego’s life, as was playing in the church band; music came naturally to him. As he said in a recent article that he listened to a lot of gospel (Jmoss, William Murphy, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin) since that’s all he was allowed to play in the house. But Cab Calloway influenced his style and his love of jazz swing and the dances that go with it. This blend of styles is clearly evident in his music.
Masego has talent and his energetic show at the 2016 SJ Jazz Summer Festival was one of the highlights this year. If you want to hear this new style of Trap House Jazz I would encourage you to check out a sample of his music at www.masegomusic.com. You won’t be disappointed.