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“What are the common threads that bridge jazz, soul and classical music with spiritual connection and community service ?”
This is the question that drives international touring artist Max Ribner.
The sound that answers is rich, reverent, and intimate, connecting us through the lineage of music, to the stories of our ancestors.
Mixing his classical background with a passion for improvisational music, Max’s unique approach to flugelhorn and trumpet has led him to perform with artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Nahko and Medicine For The People, Trevor Hall, Polish Ambassador, Liv Warfield, Sol Rising, and more. The result of years of collaboration with such a broad musical community is powerfully illustrated on Max’s debut solo album, 1st Language, which was birthed into the world on March 4th, 2021.
The 11-song album brings 50+ artists together in a cross-continental collaboration for the ages. Featured artists include: Bobby Sparks II on Keys (Roy Hargrove, Snarky Puppy,) Mark Lettieri on Guitar (Snarky Puppy,) Saeeda Wright on Vocals (Prince,) Jarrod Lawson on Vocals and Keys, Sharay Reed on Bass (Chaka Kahn, Kirk Franklin,) and many talented others. After Max spent a year and a half writing, arranging and tracking the album, he placed it into the capable hands of Grammy award winning mix engineer, Ben Kane (D’Angelo, PJ Morton, Emily King.)
Born in a coastal town between New York City and Boston, Max was drawn into the music-rich culture of the area. This drive led Max to a scholarship at Berklee College of Music, where he found mentorship among many of Jazz’s greatest artists. Upon leaving the immersive musical experience of Berklee, Max made a pivotal move to Portland, Oregon to explore land-based environmental action with Americorps. This ushered in a chapter of community work which has culminated into ongoing projects such as working with youth music projects, bringing music to jails, and funding clean water projects in the Adzokoe Peki community in Ghana. In 2007, Max connected with Nahko & Medicine For The People and began touring internationally. This solidified Max’s passion for musical activism connecting him with like-minded musicians that shared his vision for community service.
Max’s message as a musical artist is clear: Our musical voices can create an unshakeable oneness that when played and sung together, will crumble the walls of injustice and isolation.
Completed in late 2020, amidst the din of COVID-19, national elections, and an ongoing movement for equality and inclusion, 1st Language is a sonic calling together of our collective humanity now available on all platforms.