Onaje Allan Gumbs
Onaje Allan Gumbs
In 1975, Onaje joined forces with trumpeter Nat Adderley and his quintet, contributing to the group’s releases on Atlantic and Steeplechase Records. Nils Winter of Steeplechase, upon hearing Onaje’s solo improvisations, invited the young pianist to record a solo piano album entitled Onaje(1976). In 1978, the Woody Shaw Group, which Onaje contributed as pianist and as one of the composers, won the Down Beat Reader’s Poll for Jazz Group and for best jazz album, Rosewood. The album was later nominated for a Grammy. In 1985, Onaje lent his keyboard work and arrangement to "Lady in My Life" on guitarist Stanley Jordan’s enormously successful debut album, Magic Touch on Blue Note Records.
This was the 1st jazz album in history to maintain the #1 spot atop Billboard Magazine’s jazz charts for more than 47 weeks. In 1986 Onaje received the “Min-on Art Award” from the Soka Gakki International"....in recognition of his great contribution to the promotion and development of a new musical movement for people with the aim of the creation of peace..." Previous recipients of this prestigious honor include Tina Turner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Buster Williams. He received yet another award from the SGI while in Tokyo in 2005 along with Wayne Shorter, Buster Williams, Nestor Torres, Larry Coryell, Shunzo Ono and other professional members of the Arts Division of SGI. Motivated by his goal for World Peace, he uses the practice of Nicherin Daishonin’s Buddhism as a philosophical, spiritual and technical approach to all of his projects. In addition to to the release of That Special Part of Me(1988), Dare to Dream(1991) and Return To Form(2003), he has an independently financed solo project for the 21st century, Remember Their Innocence(2005). Onaje has been featured twice on NPR Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland.
He composed,arranged and performed the original score for a Showtime film directed by actor/producer, Danny Glover entitled “Override”(1994) and in 1997, he was conductor and arranger for vocalist Cassandra Wilson’s concert Travelin’ Miles, a tribute to Miles Davis. While on the subject of Miles, Onaje recently enjoyed the opportunity of playing some live engagements with trumpeter Wallace Roney who has the distinction of being the only jazz trumpeter personally mentored by Miles. In 2006, Onaje was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Jazz category for his independent project Remember Their Innocence. His forthcoming project, Sack Full of Dreams(2007) will feature singer/actor Obba Babatunde singing the title track. Onaje states, “Music has a healing force that is immeasurable and I am committed to being a part of that healing process.” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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