Jazz Comes Back to Roanoke
The Legendary Dumas Hotel is being placed on sale. A staple of the Historic Gainsboro District, community leaders have come together to raise money to acquire it. The “Leap for Legacy” concert features an artist from the city who has made major moves in the music industry.
Roanoke has had it’s share of talented people. From movie stars, professional athletes, and highly successful business persons; this small town has produced some people that have left a huge impact on the world.
The one thing that Roanoke has truly produced, has been Jazz artists. Whether it was the great Cedric Lawson who played with the likes of Miles Davis and many more, to the legend Mr. Don Pullen whose music is still appreciated all over the world, jazz is one thing we can do!
Here is where we meet our newest and brightest star and subject of this story. Adrian Crutchfield, or A+ for the long time fans and followers, is back to showing the world that Jazz is not only relevant, but evolutionary. After touring with the likes of Cee-Lo Green, Anthony Hamilton, Lionel Ritchie, and the late great Prince, Adrian has gotten back to his roots of recording his own music and on July 1, 2017 he is bringing it home to show at the “Leap for Legacy” concert. This concert is in effort to save a landmark that hosted some of the greatest musicians of all time, right here in little Ole Roanoke.
Performing music comes natural to Adrian. He has toured playing support to many artist for the past couple of years. Getting back to recording his own music was something he says his former boss, Prince told him he needs to do while on a visit to Paisley Park. It was in this visit Crutchfield would get the courage to record again on his on terms as well as the inspiration for the name of his current project: “Leap.”
Adrian was content with just being a part of Prince’s band and wanted to be a support to “Mr. Purple Rain’s” legacy. Talking to him he said that he didn’t want to record because of the “barriers” sometimes given to “horn players.” As a saxophonists it’s believed that you are supposed to only do Jazz and the simplest form of that. Because Adrian wanted to step out of the box and do more with his music, he felt hesitant to record another studio album. Adrian said Prince had him look at the collection of projects on the wall at Paisley Park basically saying no one made him stay in a particular format, why should you ?
Obviously Adrian took the challenge and ran with it. Though Leap has some of your contemporary Jazz pieces, it also has songs like “Can’t Let Go” that has Hip-Hop written all over it. “Morning After” and “Slow Down” are definitely R&B ballads, it just so happens that in the place you would normally have a singer, A+ is blowing that horn flawlessly.
Having a project out and coming home for a great cause almost seems divine. I believe that though Crutchfield has a world audience from touring with other artists, an intimate night with his hometown could be a boost in generating more dedicated fans for his music. The fact that both the city needs a hero and Adrian has shown he is one by coming to restore the Legacy of the Dumas Hotel is a perfect match.
I’ve seen Adrian in concert before, a few years ago at a venue in Charlotte, NC. I know the energy and awesome performance he brings to any stage he is on. Because of that, I’m sure the city will talk about this one for years to come. In my opinion, the best outcome would be that his performance sparks the community to support entertainment and ownership back in the Historic Gainsboro District. Showing support for the “Leap for Legacy” concert could be a catalyst for so much more. Adrian coming home will also give the opportunity for those lovers of music in Roanoke and surrounding areas to get an intimate display of his talent and purchase his music. A huge boost in his sales form within, should create a buzz for the world to not just look for Adrian to perform and enhance others, but recognize what a great musician, composer, and all around person this young man is!