Artist Series

Nicholas Payton and the Light Beings

Nicholas Payton and the Light Beings

Saturday, March 7, 2020 • 7:00 PM

Shockley-Zalabak Theater

To know Nicholas Payton is to know that he is deeply in touch with his inner self and inner light. He has an understanding that we are not what the term “human” implies…from the earth, yet we are ‘beings of light.’

Spurred from a 2018 sit-in in his hometown of New Orleans, Nicholas Payton and The Light Beings is a powerful new group featuring Payton on trumpet and Rhodes, Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note, Snarky Puppy) on drums, MonoNeon (Ghost-Note, Prince) on bass, and Cliff “Klyph” Hines on modular synthesizer and guitar. “The Light Beings” utilize both electronic and acoustic instruments as a means to deliver a universal message that is both sonic and spiritual—a message that acknowledges the past, while channeling love from within to convey hope for the future. The group debuted at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and will release their debut album in 2020.

Originally from New Orleans, Nicholas Payton is a Grammy-winning trumpeter steeped in acoustic improvisation and the musical traditions of his hometown. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and vocalist, Payton is “a wholly uncategorizable musician whose work embraces practically the entire span of jazz history and pushes well beyond it” (Chicago Tribune).


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