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Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah

Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (formerly known as Christian Scott), a Doris Duke Artist in the jazz category, is a two-time Edison Award-winning and six-time Grammy Award-nominated musician, composer and producer. Adjuah is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell,” as well as his “whisper technique,” which involves an unvoiced tone while playing.

Adjuah is the progenitor of “stretch music,” a jazz-rooted, genre-blind musical form that attempts to “stretch” jazz’s rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass multiple styles, languages and cultures. This can be heard in works such as “Stretch Music,” “Axiom” and  “The Centennial Trilogy,” which integrates a century's worth of musical styles born from the form back to their musical birthplaces in West Africa and New Orleans. He is also the developer of the Stretch Music app, an interactive music player, as well as the curator of the Stretch Music Festival. He has also designed signature lines of brass and string instruments, which are demonstrated on his recordings.

Adjuah’s 12 studio recordings, three live albums and one greatest hits collection have garnered him critical acclaim, sold-out shows at the world’s best-known venues and global recognition. His collaborators have included Prince, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, McCoy Tyner, Marcus Miller, Eddie Palmieri, Mos Def (Yasiin Bey), and Talib Kweli, as well as poet and musician Saul Williams. He has also appeared in and contributed music to films including “Bill and Ted Face the Music” and “The Photograph.”

He is a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and Berklee College of Music. His family counts generations of pioneering musicians, including his uncle, Donald Harrison, Jr., a jazz innovator and saxophonist under whom he studied beginning at the age of 12, as well as his grandfather, the legendary Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr., who was Chieftain of four Nations and a leader of the city’s masking and maroon traditions. Adjuah continues this legacy as Chief of the Xodakan Nation.

A passionate activist, he is also involved in community-based work, contributing musical instruments, teaching and resources to organizations including Guardians Institute, Black Lives Matter, Each One Save One, Girls First, The Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, Good Work Network, Changing Worlds and NO/AIDS Task Force.

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Meet the 10th Anniversary Class of Doris Duke Artists