Music on the Brain: Ancestral Callings w/ TK Blue

Join us at the NJMH on Thursday, Sep 28 for a performance and dialogue on how the experiences of our ancestors shape who we are today.

Music on the Brain is back!
This month’s theme is… Ancestral Callings!

How are we shaped by the environment around us? In what way do our experiences impact the brain over a lifetime — or even across future generations?

In our latest edition of Music on the Brain, we will explore epigenetics, the fascinating interplay of genes and the environment.

Join multi-instrumentalist jazz musician, composer, and educator T.K. Blue, pianist Yayoi Ikawa, and Zuckerman Institute Neuroscientist Dr. Thiago Arzua for a jazz concert and dialogue, exploring how the experience of our ancestors calls to and shapes who we are today.

Music on the Brain is a collaboration between the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, with the support of Jazz Foundation of America.


TK Blue

Talib Kibwe, or TK Blue, is a saxophonist, flautist, composer, arranger, and educator. He has appeared on over 85 recordings and performed with such artists as Don Cherry; Jaki Byard’s Apollo Stompers; Abdullah Ibrahim; Miriam Makeba; Randy Weston, Archie Shepp; Dizzy Gillespie; Pharoah Sanders; Andy Bey; Regina Carter; Bobby McFerrin; Dee Dee Bridgewater; Jimmy Scott; Mal Waldron; Arturo O’Farrill–just to name a tiny few.

TK is committed to music education. Having received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Psychology from NYU and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University, Blue has taught at every level from pre-K to the graduate level, including Long Island University LIU-Post where he was the director of jazz studies from 2007 to 2014.

TK’s 2017 release, Amour, his 11th CD as a leader, was cited as one of the best jazz recordings of the year by Downbeat Magazine. TK was later commissioned to compose a suite dedicated to the early presence of African-Americans in the upstate New York Hudson Valley area. The result was a CD entitled Follow The North Star based on the life of Solomon Northup and his memoir Twelve Years A Slave. His 12th CD as a leader is entitled The Rhythms Continue, dedicated to two NEA Jazz Masters Dr. Randy Weston and trombonist/composer/arranger Melba Liston. In 2019 TK conceived and performed The Motherland Connections, manifesting the African roots of Jazz, with its premier at Jazzmobile’s Summer Concert Series in Marcus Garvey Park in 2019. His 14th CD as a leader is entitled Planet Bluu, which features a younger generation of jazz masters, highlighting his dedication to education and the continuing legacy of jazz.


Dr. Thiago Arzua

Born and raised in Brazil, Dr. Thiago Arzua is currently a neuroscientist at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute. He currently studies how traumatic experiences are passed down through multiple generations. Before that, he completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he used stem-cell derived brain organoids to study neurodevelopment. Outside the lab, Dr. Arzua also engages and fights for diversity and equity within science, being a co-founder of Black In Neuro, as well as a science policy ambassador for the Society for Neuroscience. As an early-career researcher, he has won multiple awards, including the NIH’s Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award, and being nominated 30 Under 30 by Forbes Magazine.

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Thu, Sep 28
7:00 pm

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

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