Jeremy Cunningham is a drummer, composer, and improviser. Originally from Cincinnati, he moved to Chicago in 2009, where he currently performs and composes as part of the city’s vibrant music scene.
Cunningham wrote 2020’s ‘The Weather Up There’ in response to the loss of his brother Andrew, who died in a home invasion robbery in 2008. Co-produced by Jeff Parker and Paul Bryan, this new work confronts the tragedy of gun violence and examines the acute ripple effect on several people’s lives through the lens of memory, response, and collage. Further deepening the textural and emotive impact, Cunningham formed a drum choir” for these recordings, comprised of close friends and colleagues Mike Reed, Makaya McCraven, and Mikel Patrick Avery.
Cunningham currently plays performs with Resavoir, Trio Vibes, Lane Beckstrom Nick Mazzarella’s Meridian Trio, Laurenzi/Cunningham Duo, the Matt Gold Trio, and his own band The Weather Up There featuring Jeff Parker, Josh Johnson, and Paul Bryan.
Sen Morimoto’s 2014 move to Chicago inspired him to start his solo rap project, drawing on a lifetime of experience as a cross-genre collaborator–R&B piano, noise rocks drums, improvisational jazz saxophone–to produce his own instrumentals. Playing out in his new city’s multidisciplinary scene led to a friendship with like-minded polymath Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, who encouraged Morimoto to record an album for his label, Sooper. That release, Cannonball!, incorporated Morimoto’s many discrete interests, and its unique fusion led to critical accolades and international festivals. “I tried everything I possibly could on the last album,” Morimoto says. “It changed my life a lot, and that process was scary to me.”
The self-titled Sen Morimoto is his sophomore effort for Sooper, of which he is now a co-owner. “Working with other artists from the label side showed me how everyone sets intentions for their art,” explains Morimoto. “That’s taught me a lot about treating my music as my baby, and giving it everything it needs to thrive.” This reinvigorated perspective, along with his fandom for songwriting heavyweights Carole King and Lauryn Hill, refocused Morimoto on lyrical foundations; he fervently edited to favor conversational lines and meticulously plotted arrangements that were “concise roadmaps.”
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