Skip to main content

Walker Reader

Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Jamaaladeen Tacuma has always stretched the old mold of what and how a bassist is supposed to play. In the mid '70s, his creatively free approach to the bass caught the eye and ear of the legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Tacuma became a member of Coleman's electric band, Prime Time, and toured with the group and played on some of Coleman's historic recordings, including Dancing In Your Head, Body Meta, and Of Human Feelings. As a soloist, he continued to press the musical envelope with Showstopper, his debut album, in 1983. Tacuma has performed, recorded, and collaborated with musicians on nearly every continent, including guitarists Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Marc Ribot, James Blood Ulmer, Jean Paul Bourelly, and Derek Bailey. He is the recipient of the Pew Arts & Heritage Award, the Marcus Garvey Foundation Award, and the Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Award. Tacuma has received composer’s residencies at the prestigious MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Civitella Rainier Italy.