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The Checkout: Drummer Tyshawn Sorey Reflects on His Spectrum of Imagination

John Rogers
Tyshawn Sorey shares music from his latest recording

Tyshawn Sorey is more than one of the most highly-recruited drummers among the jazz intelligentsia (like pianist Vijay Iyer, with whom he plays through Sunday at the Village Vanguard). On this podcast episode of The Checkout, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and Newark native opens up about his unusual past, his early influences and his most ambitious recording to date, The Inner Spectrum of Variables.

When Sorey was growing up in inner-city Newark, he knew he was different from the other kids. He would lug an old-fashioned cassette recorder and headset onboard the big yellow bus heading to public school. His peers would eye him incredulously; even the bus driver openly ridiculed him for bringing such an awkward apparatus onboard. Only his closest family recognized his prodigal talent: He was a child obsessed with the deep cuts of Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey pounding through his earphones. Today, Sorey's talent is no longer hidden, far from a mystery. 

Tyshawn Sorey performs with the Vijay Iyer trio at the Village Vanguard Thursday through Sunday.

Production Assistance by Stevan Smith and Sarah Geledi

For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.