Martin Luther and the Black Sugar Ensemble | SFJAZZ
Martin Luther & the Black Sugar Ensemble
Singer, songwriter, and San Francisco native Martin Luther McCoy is on a mission to bring his signature mix of blues-drenched R&B, funk, rock, and old school soul to audiences worldwide. Rising to international attention for his extensive work with The Roots and Cody ChesnuTT, McCoy is perhaps best known for his on-screen role as the Jimi Hendrix inspired character “Jo-Jo” and performance of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in director Julie Taymor’s Oscar-nominated 2007 Beatles tribute film Across the Universe. He made a memorable appearance in comic megastar Dave Chappelle’s 2005 concert film Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, and was a highlighted artist during Chappelle’s 2014 SFJAZZ performances as well as 2016’s Amy Winehouse tribute. Steeped in gospel music from his childhood in the church, McCoy began songwriting at six, influenced by a mighty collection of iconic artists including Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, and Parliament/Funkadelic. From that prodigious start he never looked back – recording and performing with artists including Dave Matthews, Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Zion I. He founded the Rebel Soul Music label in 1999, releasing The Calling, Rebel Soul Music, Extra Terrestrial Brother, and his newest album, Love is the Hero. Now, McCoy returns with Black Sugar, an intimate exploration of the music of Otis Redding and the founders of soul music.