A fusion of jazz, hip-hop and art will take place as Delaware State University presents Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber from Washington D.C. on March 18-19.
Gerald Watson, creator of Shaolin Jazz
The Shaolin Jazz events – which are free and open to the public – will consist of:
- A Shaolin Jazz public workshop at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus.
- A Shaolin Jazz art show from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 in the Art Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus.
- A Shaolin Jazz concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 in the Education & Humanities Theatre.
Conceived by Gerald Watson and produced by DJ 2-Tone Jones, Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber is a testament to the stylistic connection between both jazz and hip-hop. It is a mix project whereby various jazz songs and breaks are fused with a cappella and vocal samples from the iconic hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The music and lyrics are astutely crafted to match both in cadence and tone, with the jazz selections used also to help further accentuate the essence and intensity of the Clan.
The initial inspiration for Shaolin Jazz came by way of graphic designer Logan Walters, who recreated a series of Wu-Tang album covers to resemble those of earlier Blue Note and Impulse Jazz album covers.
Much like albums by Digable Planets, Buckshot LeFonque, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz series, Shaolin Jazz is a work of art that not only re-emphasizes the greatness of the artists involved, but serves to further the connection between jazz and hip-hop, while also educating those unfamiliar about both genres.
The artists hope that fans of hip-hop will have a better understanding of the origins of the music they enjoy, while jazz aficionados gain more of an appreciation for various aspects of hip-hop.