Onyx Ashanti is the inventor of "beatjazz" — a new way to make music.

Why you should listen

Onyx Ashanti is a musician, geek, open-source advocate, Maker, collaborator ... and we come back around again to musician. The intrumentation he has created fuses technique and technology into a full-body musical system, playable with hands, arms, mouth and body. As he says:

I am what can only be described as a cyborg musician.  in other words, the music i create live, can not be replicated without technology. My music is called "Beatjazz." It is a mix of sound design, live looping and jazz improvisation. My instrument of choice over the years has been a Yamaha Wind MIDI controller, but now the limitations have started to stunt the growth of this new form, so i designed an instrument that can take it into future.

He is now working on the next iteration of his instrument, codenamed Tron, and built around a helmet-mounted controller.

Onyx Ashanti’s TED talks