Drummer and “beat scientist” (his words) Makaya McCraven was born in France but grew up on the American east coast. His parents are professional musicians and as a teenager he already performed regularly with his father, who is a jazz drummer. During his high-school years, McCraven started Cold Duck Complex, a jazz band that flirted with hip hop and he toured with major acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Rhazel and Mixmaster Mike. After moving to Chicago, he became a sought-after studio drummer and played with Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, and Kamasi Washington’s band, among others. In 2012 his debut album Split Decision was released and three years later he had his breakthrough with In The Moment. Following several noteworthy and groundbreaking mix tapes, his album Universal Beings was released in 2018, followed by Deciphering The Message last year. In its critics’ poll of 2020, renowned jazz monthly DownBeat chose McCraven as the Rising Star in two different categories: as a drummer and as a producer.