"You look like a jazz artist," is a refrain Rick Wilkerson hears often. But what does a jazz artist look like? It's one of the oldest music forms, but like its younger cousin hip-hop, the vibrancy of the genre depends on young people picking up their instruments and telling their stories into them. Wilkerson, a drummer from Nashville, is leading the charge. His album, Mosaic, dropped January 6.
Approach Mosaic with an open mind. There are purely instrumental tracks, but there are also collaborations with vocalists and rappers, as well as an inspired, percussion-driven cover of the Tears for Fears song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
"We're creating this picture together, this 'mosaic' if you will, of not just something I can relate to, but something everyone can relate to," Wilkerson told REVOLT. "Everything from the feeling of freedom, to the feelings of loss, the feelings of pride, joy — all that stuff. It's all in the record."
The result is a sound that's contemporary but not trendy. It won't become dated because it's not anchored to what's only popular for today. So next time you think of jazz, Wilkerson hopes you'll see your place in it. And the next time you hear Nashville, you'll think of more than country music. Hopefully, you'll embrace Wilkerson and his peers as they put you on to "The New Nashville."
Listen to Mosaic below: