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May 8 2014

Trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire delivered one of the most widely praised and discussed new Jazz albums of 2014 with the March 11 release of the imagined savior is far easier to paint, an impressive and expansive new album that The New York Times declared “brilliant” and JazzTimes magazine called “a gorgeous, moving album” adding that it is “an early candidate for the best of 2014.” Fans can now get the story behind the making of the album with a new video featuring footage from the recording studio and an interview with Ambrose. Watch the video here.

Ambrose has been profiled by NPR All Things Considered and featured on the covers of DownBeat, Jazziz, and France’s Jazz magazines, with critics across the board raving about the imagined savior is far easier to paint, an album that broadened the palette of his quintet with the addition of guitarist Charles Altura, the OSSO String Quartet, and vocalists Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, and Cold Specks. Akinmusire’s quintet features saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown.

Ambrose has announced additional North American tour dates this summer that begin June 21 in Denver, Colorado and head up the west coast including a stop at PDX Jazz in Portland, Oregon on June 25. A series of performances in Canada that follow will include three shows as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Further European tour dates in July will be announced shortly. See below for a full list of confirmed dates or visit



May 08: Like a Jazz Machine Festival, Dudelange, LUXEMBOURG

May 10: Avantgarde Jazz Festival, Rovinj, CROATIA

May 11: Ronnie Scott’s, London, UK

May 14: The Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, ITALY 

May 15: VII Ciclo 1906  de Jazz Jimmy Glas, Valencia, SPAIN

May 16: VII Ciclo 1906 Club Jamboree,   Barcelona, SPAIN

May 17: VII Ciclo 1906 Clavicembalo, Lugo, SPAIN

June 21: Dazzle, Denver, CO

June 22: Dazzle, Denver, CO

June 23: Kuumbwa, Santa Cruz, CA

June 24: Yoshis, Oakland, CA

June 25: PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak's, Portland, OR

June 26: Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, WA

June 27: Vancouver Jazz Festival, Vancouver, CANADA

June 28: Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa, CANADA

June 29: Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, CANADA

June 30: Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, CANADA

July 1: Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, CANADA


See what the critics have been saying about the imagined savior is far easier to paint:

“Akinmusire skillfully embeds his bravura horn work in an undeniably ambitious new-jazz vision.”—The New Yorker

the imagined savior is far easier to paint [is] the brilliant second Blue Note album by the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire… the realm of poignant possibility and artful implication, and not a small amount of beauty.”—The New York Times

“When trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire released his Blue Note debut three years ago it felt as if his talents could take him anywhere. So, it makes sense that in crafting his follow-up, Akinmusire very nearly goes everywhere. Engrossing, elusive and packed to its literal limits with ideas, the imagined savior is far easier to paint beautifully takes Akinmusire’s distinctive tone to new realms, including slow-burning orchestral swells and convention-defying vocal collaborations that attempt to translate his vision into words.”—Los Angeles Times

“This award-winning young trumpeter wowed jazz fans with the focused intelligence of his 2011 Blue Note Records debut. For this new effort, he goes wide, expanding his ensemble to include vocalists, a string quartet, and the adventurous guitarist Charles Altura. This music is not for chickens — it's heady, intense, and demanding. But it's also accessible in the most important ways, making room the listener to get lost in its byways."—NPR Music

“a gorgeous, moving album… an early candidate for the best of 2014.”—JazzTimes

"A rising jazz star who's received a lion's share of awards and accolades yet is not resting on past laurels, he continues to search for artistic expression with in-demand chops and inventive writing... the imagined savior is far easier to paint is a fresh page in Akinmusire's evolving narrative...  This is another significant release from one of music's brightest."—AllAboutJazz

“[Akinmusire's] real emergence was in 2011, with his debut recording on Blue Note, a stunner that seemed to re-imagine a modern jazz trumpet vocabulary to include fresh sounds and daring intervals without taking leave of the tradition. Akinmusire’s new disc, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, is even more remarkable and fresh... Akinmusire’s voice on trumpet is a clear through-line that brings one very interesting voice to every song. The variations in tone, form, and emotion make imagined savior a satisfying journey rather than an immersion in a single mood, such that listening to this album as it was conceived and put together by a great artist is a whole, marvelous experience. Ambrose Akinmusire stakes a claim as one of the very best musicians in jazz – or any other style of music. He won’t be contained. Neither will your emotions as you soak up this daring, fulfilling, perfectly crafted music.”—PopMatters