Jesse Sharps is an accomplished composer, bandleader, performer, and instructor of music. He grew up in Los Angeles and spent some of his formative years as a musician in the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra as one of Horace Tapscott’s principal scribes and co-bandleaders. He also studied with Cecil Taylor before leaving to serve in a US Naval Band stationed in Germany, where he eventually settled after his service. While back in Los Angeles in 2005 to work on the music of PAPA Jesse wanted to record some of the music from the Ark and he convinced many long time and new members to come together, along with others, for a day of sharing, playing, and recording the music of their peers.
The name, The Gathering, was inspired by a place that Kamau Daaood helped organize in the 70s where musicians would get together and perform, artists would share their work, and poetry readings and community events would be held. The album title, Leimert Park – Roots and Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, is a reference to the connection Jesse experienced to Leimert Park, where he would hang out and play, and where he ran into to many old friends.
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