Creativity is the ability to recognize an opportunity for innovation. It is birthed through influence and is nurtured through passion. It is the re-conception of the past. Creativity cannot manifest unless it is re-imagined. RE-Imagine Music challenges invention by encouraging audiences and musicians to capture music in a different way.
The roots of RE-Imagine began when J.Michael taught music production and history at a charter high school. He discovered that his students were content listening to hard rock, hip-hop and 90’s R&B. Jazz or any other style could not be considered. Desiring to illustrate the ability of jazz transcending different genres, he envisioned George Gershwin’s classic, “Summertime” with swing. He adapted the song, styling it to an operatic, funky-jazz, swing rhythm. J.Michael realized that the kids were missing one key ingredient to expanding their tastes—exposure.
Every musical element borrows from another musical element. A genre is a recipe of musical elements, possessing similar instruments, chords and tempos specific to that genre. J.Michael knew that Jazz was a great medium of exposure, because it borrows elements from all genres and features rhythmic cues known since antiquity.
RE-Imagined is a re-birthed sound that takes conventional music and transforms it into unconventional melodies, exposing others to new musical styles through jazz. By taking popular music and re-imagining them into jazz versions, RE-Imagine displays the flexibility of musical structure. While rearranging John Mayer’s “Vultures”, J.Michael changed the time signature and added new sound textures, though keeping the original melody recognizable. The purpose was not to give a new spin to the song, but to create a musical tangent, an exploration, that embodied a variety of sound textures. This tangency provides the gateway to expose musical styles unknown to the ear.
RE-Imagine is the same song, but a different sound. It’s the same story, with a different edition. It’s an ode to originality and a bridge to lucidity. On “Vultures”, J.Michael re-harmonized choruses, added solo sections, original bridges, and urban-grooves to simply make “good music”. RE-Imagined possesses an unprecedented structure. Its various layers require presence of mind and it depends on the sporadic, ingenious nature of jazz.
After getting positive feedback from fellow musicians and colleagues, the idea has expanded into a musical training ground. It is a vision to young, independent talents; it produces the ability to advance in their craft by branding and creating inspiring, original music.
Re-Imagine Music is a continuous cycle of regeneration. It is always creative, because it looks for opportunity, in its music, in its people and in itself.