January CD of the Month: Akua Dixon

Jan 20, 2015

Akua Dixon is the most accomplished cellist in jazz history. Her brand new for 2015 recording on her very own Akua’s Music label adds to her impressive list of accomplishments and to her living legacy. In 2011 Akua released Movin’ On to much critical acclaim and jazz radio airplay, her latest album, which is self-titled continues where she left off and once again raises the bar another notch. Ms. Dixon’s most recent session is all strings in various formats with one exception, the opening track, Charles Mingus’ Haitian Fight Song features her song, Orion Turre on drums.  On Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life Akua’s guest vocalist is her daughter, Andromeda Turre. Other guests include the amazing Regina Carter and the late John Blake Jr on violins. Very sadly, Mr. Blake passed away shortly after this recording.

Born in the Bronx, Akua grew up in a household filled with a wide array of music. Dixon discovered the cello in 4th grade and joined her older sister Gayle, a violinist in the school band playing classical music. Gayle became an accomplished violinist, the sisters worked together frequently over the decades until Gayle lost her battle to cancer in 2009. Akua’s first job as a professional musician was in the house orchestra of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Akua Dixon founded the first of several string quartets she has led, Quartette Indigo, in 1973. She has been touring the world since that time playing in many leading jazz festivals. She has played on film scores, Broadway stage productions and for dance theaters including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has tutored and conducted the Urban Symphony Children’s Orchestra for MYV and the Chris Rock Show. Akua arranged the strings for Lauryn Hill’s 5 time GRAMMY® award-winning, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Since the late 1990s Akua has been commissioned several times to compose and conduct string symphonies, she has conducted numerous clinics and workshops around the world and was appointed a Carnegie Hall Musical Ambassador and Clinician. 

Akua Dixon’s newest recording is a culmination of her decades of experience, she arranged all the tracks, she is the executive producer and her love of strings in a variety of formats and music styles ensure this CD will be played frequently over the years. Akua proves that the best way to enjoy her music is with strings attached!