Our Common Ground in Music
10,825 views | James Mtume • TEDxCapeMay
Jame’s Mtume’s name means “messenger” in Swahili, which is a bit on-the-nose for this Grammy Award-winning musician. A former percussionist for Miles Davis, the prolific songwriter also headed the band Mtume, a group that helped define R&B’s jazz-funk roots. (Parts of their song “Juicy Fruit,” which you may recognize from the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack, have been incorporated into recordings by Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, Faith Evans, Jennifer Lopez and many more.) While the Philadelphia native’s pedigree also includes composing for motion pictures and producing for the likes of Mary J Blige and R Kelly, he’s equally well known for his activism. Formerly the host of the number one black talk radio show in New York, Mtume uses his platform to promote the role of music in defining a generation and advancing social progression, one song a time.