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Best of Artist Playlists


Over the course of the past few seasons, we’ve asked some of our performers to tell us what they’ve been listening to lately. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Jazz pianist Jason Moran winner of Downbeat magazine’s 2011 Critic’s Pick for “Album, Artist, and Pianist of the Year.” He returns in our 2013-2014 season with his Fats Waller Dance Party. Listen to Jason’s playlist

2. Winner of 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist and the 2012 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her album Radio Music Society, Esperanza Spalding. Listen to Esperanza’s playlist

3. Jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists including Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli, and The Roots, Karriem Riggins. Listen to Karriem’s playlist

If you could browse any performer’s music collection, who would it be? Why?

Behind the Scenes with Karriem Riggins

Photo by Gerard Victor.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Karriem Riggins (drums) first began his musical journey when he joined his father Emmanuel, a Motown Records session musician who performed with Grant Green, in the studio to play with instruments. He is best known as a jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists including Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli, and The Roots.

He is performing as part of the D-3 Trio during the upcoming From Cass Corridor to the World: A Tribute to Detroit’s Musical Golden Age performance on January 21.

Of his participation in the project, he says, “I spent a lot of time in the Cass Corridor area when I was young, being a part of the Detroit Council of the Arts. I was also in the Cass Tech Marching Band in 11th Grade, and we marched all through the corridor. I’m interested in this project because not only do I get to make music with my favorites, but we get a chance to create awareness. It’s an important artistic area of Detroit city.”

We asked Karriem what he’s been listening to lately. Check out his playlist below.

Learn more about Karriem Riggins at