"Home To The Foremost African Centered Jazz Group In The World"

    Known as the foremost African centered Jazz group of its kind in the world today, IN THE TRADITION is well known for their dynamic concert appearances as they are for their top-rated recordings. Their performances are eagerly awaited in the Jazz, World Beat and political communities. Among the many highlights in the history of In The Tradition are these:

  • Backing Orchestra for the stage musical "The Spirit of Hitsville" presented October 2007 at the Gem theater in Detroit
  • 2009 appearance at the African World Festival in Detroit Michigan
  • Their recording "Sirius" was listed among the top 10 CD Baby Jazz sub-genre African music releases in 2012
  • 2012 original musical production entitled "Afro Jazz Extravaganza" presented at Detroit's Charles Wright Museum of African American History in February and August 2012
  • June 19th 2013 performed a original Stage production entitled "Pathways to Freedom" at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati Ohio in celebration of Juneteenth.
  • Performed at the 2014 Grand Rapids Jazz Festival.
  • Performed at the 2015 Detroit African World Festival openining for Damien Marley.
  • As a band nominated for a 2016 Black Power Music Award
  • 2017 Detroit Music Award nomination for top Detroit Jazz Musician (Olujimi Tafataona)
  • 2017 Detroit music award nomination for top Jazz Musician (Kenneth Gill)
  • Their performances include special packages for Colleges and Schools. For further information contact them at 313-918-7174 or 313-926-1747. You can also email them at olujimi@inthetraditionjazz.net for further inquiries. We also perform for traditional African weddings and ceremonies.

News and Upcoming Events

In the tradition is deeply saddened by the loss today of our major inspiration mentor and dear friend Baba Randy Weston. We will miss him Dearly. May he Rest In Power. Our heartfelt sympathies also go out to Mama Fatu and the rest of Randy's Family. We were truly Blessed to have this Giant walk in our midst. God be with you all.

50th anniversary

Join In The Tradition along with Angie Stone Saturday August 11th at the Saginaw African Cultural Festival. Downbeat is 5 p.m. It promises to be a evening of exciting joy and celebration. For more information go to the Saginaw African Cultural Festival Facebook page. Ashe'!


We the members of In The Tradition always look forward to the celebration of African History Month. It puts us in touch with our spiritual cells and further strengthens our ancestral alliances. This month is a natural for us and we look forward to kicking off our events for the rest of the Year this month beginning with our annual African History Month concert at the Hackley public library in Muskegon on February 24th. The library is located at 316 W Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440. It promises to be a very spiritual event and any of you that are in the area are more than welcome to come by and celebrate with us. Downbeat is at 2 p.m. and we hope to see as many of you there as we can. Long live the indomitable creativity that dwells within the African spirit! Ashe'!


Come Share and enjoy the spirit of Kwanzaa with In The Tradition. We will be celebrating the principal of Nia at Mayflower Congregational Church 7301 Curtis Street Detroit Michigan 48221. The celebration will be from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. Saturday December 30th. All in the community are invited. See you there. Ashe'!


Introducing our latest recording "Ancestral Alliances". Released September 10th 2017 to much anticipation, this recording lives up to it's promise. Not to be missed are the songs "War Is Here", "We Cry Freedom", "Footprints" and "Assata". Click on the CD cover to hear samples and/or purchase.


Thank You to all of you who came to our 24th Anniversary/CD release party celebration. You all made it such a memorable experience, one that we will cherish forever! Thank you to Mayflower Congregational Church for your love and support, andl thank you to the community for being there for us. You made it possible. God is good! Stay tuned for our next event. We hope to see you there. God Bless!


Come join In The Tradition as we celebrate our 24th anniversary by releasing our next recording “Ancestral Alliances”. The release party will be held Sunday September 10th from 4 pm until 8 pm. There will be meet and greet and live performances by the band. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be Ms. Jazz, Maxine Michaels, and the Master of Ceremonies will be our Brother Mr. Malik Yakini. The event will take place at Mayflower Congregational Church located at 7301 Curtis, Detroit Michigan. All former band members are invited to come, along with the public. We hope to see you all there. Ashe!

In The Tradition was recently nominated for a 2017 Detroit Music Award in the Band category, and two of our band members (Olujimi Tafataona and Kenny Gill) were nominated for individual Awards in the Outstanding Musician category. On behalf of the entire group we offer our humble gratitude for the nominations and the recognition of our musical efforts. In The Tradition is: 1. Mark Berger, Baritone Saxophone, Saxophones, Bassoon, Woodwinds; 2. David Cheney, Drums, Percussion; 3. Dr. Kefentse Chike, Djembe, Congas, Percussion; 4. Karim Tabu Gideon, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Mellophonium, Brass; 5. Kenneth Gill, Trombone, Euphonium, Brass; 6. Aurora Harris, Spoken Word; 7. Imari Akua Jendayi, Vocals, Violin, Shakere, Kalimba, Ballophone, Percussion; 8. Foluke Shearer, Piano, Keyboards; 9. Olujimi Tafataona, Saxophones, Flutes, Woodwinds, Composer, Arranger, Leader; 10. Alex Webb, Acoustic and Electric Basses.

Congratulations to In The Tradition's Olujimi Tafataona (Saxophones/Flutes) and Kenneth Gill (Trombone/Euphonium) for being nominated respectively for the Detroit Music Awards in the Outstanding Musician category for 2017! LONG LIVE the indomitable creativity that dwells in the Afrikan Spirit!


"Our appearance in Muskegon on February 25th 2017 was a wonderful experience and our time with the audience was so enriching. We also got to spend time with our friend Ruth of Ruth's Deli and soul food Palace and our friend Charles Fair of the MBA Journal. The day was so spiritual for us. Until we meet again!"


Join In The Tradition as we continue to commemorate African history. The commemoration continues at the Hackley Public Library, Saturday February 25th, 316 W. Webster Ave, in Muskegon, Michigan. The music begins at 2 o'clock and all are welcome. Long live the indomitable creativity that dwells in the Afrikan Spirit! Ashe!


February has been deemed African History Month, and In The Tradition (The foremost African centered jazz group in the world) would like to invite you to come out and celebrate it with us at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library this Sunday at 2 o'clock p.m. The library is located at 40900 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township Michigan 49032. Everyone is welcome to come and partake and enjoy the spirit of upliftment and African Unity. We hope to see you there. Ashe!


In The Tradition and Mayflower Congregational Church presents in Kwanzaa celebration for the entire family Friday December 30th 2016 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. . We will be celebrating Nia ("Purpose " in Kiswahili) the fifth principle of Kwanzaa on the fifth day of Kwanzaa. There will be African food and clothing vendors, Poetry and music provided by In The Tradition. Mayflower Congregational Church is located at 7301 Curtis Street Detroit Michigan 48221. Donations are accepted.


We are proud to announce to our friends, family and fans that In The Tradition has been nominated for the 2016 Black Power Music Award. The celebration will take place in Atlanta Georgia in November of 2016. We are humbled and honored to be nominated for such a beautiful and prestigious award. We'll see you in Atlanta. Ashe!


Juneteenth Celebration

To friends and fans of IN THE TRADITION in the Western Michigan area we ask that you come and join IN THE TRADITION as we celebrate the commemoration of Juneteenth in Holland, Michigan on Tuesday, June 14th 2016 at the Holland Michigan Juneteenth Festival which is sponsored by the African American Awareness and Development Organization. Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of "America's Peculiar Institution", chattel slavery. Join us at Kollen Park, 250 Kollen Dr., Holland, Michigan 49423.It begins at 7:45. It is a truly momentous occasion and we hope to see all of you there. For further information call 616-610-5146 or go to AAADO's website.

Jazz In The Park


"Grand Rapids, IN THE TRADITION is returning! Your support has been overwhelmingly warm and heartfelt. We will be performing at Jazz In The Park on June 20th 2016. The event will be held at An-Nab-Awen Park and is being sponsored by the West Michigan Jazz Society, whom we offer our sincere gratitude for inviting us to this prestigious event. An-Nab-Awen Park is located at 303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Will be performing from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. We're honored to be with you again. See you there!"

2018-12-27 22:49:44

Blacks & Minorities In The Military Under Trump

There's an old adage that goes; "If a politician's lips are moving, he's lying." When it comes to the so-called "businessman turned politician" President Donald J. Trump, never has a saying rang with so much truth. From the day he announced his candidacy for president, and with each passing day, the lies have become just like a "snowball rolling down the side of a snow covered hill", they're growing. From his claims that former President Obama was not an American citizen (and that he [Trump] had sent "detectives" to Hawaii), Mexico paying for a wall, Ted Cruz's father being associated with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, millions of illegals voting, thousands of Muslims celebrating the September 11th attacks, unemployment at 40 percent..., etc.., etc..., etc..., it's all nothing but LIES. I really don't intend to belabor the point, but if Helen Keller and Ray Charles were alive today, both would easily see and hear the lies coming from Donald Trump's moving lips! But i'll digress...

It's December in America, and two years since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. With less than a week left in 2018, it is the time of year when we celebrate the holidays, which includes spending time with family, shopping for presents and gifts, enjoying good food and spending time with all the people you love. For some, the winter holidays can be emotionally stressful. For those who have a loved one serving in the military, particularly wartime active duty, worrisome thoughts can become a burden. The notion of paying the ultimate price in battle is looming and ubiquitous for a front line soldier. However, it's the sense of duty, honor and country that guides their daily thoughts. Still there's one thought that both the deployed soldier and their loved ones back at home share. That is the "thought" of the day when that soldier safely returns home.

As a spouse, a parent or sibling of a soldier, the worse fear is to one day open your door and see a serviceman in dress blue or green accompanied by a military chaplain. In October of 2017, sadly its what happened to Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt La David Johnson who's platoon was ambushed in the African country of Niger. President Trump's phone call of condolence made headlines that week when Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson - who had heard the call along with the family - said that Trump seemed as though he could not remember Sgt. Johnson's name, and appeared to be less than sympathetic. To make matters worse, Trump's White House Chief of Staff, retired U.S. Marine General John Kelly, attacked Rep. Wilson calling her an "empty barrel" who had fabricated her story about the call. Gen. Kelly went on to say that Wilson had once made a claim that she was solely responsible for securing funding for a federal Post Office project. However, it was found that (and proven by video tape evidence) that Wilson did not make any such claim. Moreover, Wilson's account of the Trump's phone call was confirmed and corroborated by Sgt. Johnson's widow, both of whom were on the phone during the call. That begs the question of why would Gen. Kelly and Donald Trump treat the widow of a fallen soldier this way? And why would they then lie about it? The answer is masked by their disguise, yet revealed by U.S. military history.

Guardian Online writer David Olusoga wrote this in an article titled, "Black soldiers were expendable - then forgettable."

In the US, the same racial neurosis inspired Lothrop Stoddard’s fellow Klansmen to embark upon a wave of murder and intimidation designed to ensure that any hopes of racial justice nursed by the thousands of African American soldiers then returning from the western front were snuffed out. In 1919 at least 19 African American soldiers were lynched in the US, some for wearing their army uniforms in public, as they were perfectly entitled to do. In 26 American cities, black communities were attacked and people murdered in the streets, during the so-called and now forgotten “red summer”

America has a very sordid history when it comes to Blacks and minorities in the military. A century after the end of the first world war there still are vestiges of racism in the military and in American society. Even as American soldiers of all races have fought and died on the battle field, racial animus and division finds a way to pervade. In a recent article of the New York Times several former and present minority members of the U.S. military were asked about the controversy surrounding the NFL players protests, and Donald Trump's attacks on Black players in the NFL.


I am an African-American who grew up experiencing harassment from law enforcement and still to this day experience it depending on where I am stationed. Wearing the uniform only protects me when it is on.

— Uriah Hunter, U.S. Army

As an Asian you get to hear things from both sides that they wouldn’t tell each other. As a liberal military member, it’s the same thing. Also, being a minority helps understand privilege, the justice system, and various other aspects related to race in America. There are more important things than caring about whether or not people are kneeling. The flag is a symbol, but the people are the country. I think the individuals exercising their freedom of speech need and deserve far more respect than the flag or some arbitrary ceremony.

— Baldwin Yen, U.S. Army

According to a Military Times poll, support for Donald Trump is fading among active duty troops. It would suffice to say that a large percentage of the unfavorable rating is based on responses from racial minorities. The Department of Defense (DoD) shows that 32.9% of DoD’s enlisted forces in FY14 are racial minorities. The military service branch with the highest percentage of blacks is the Army, at about 20%.  A breakdown by branch of service shows Trump's "unfavorable rating" among Army respondents at 40% (although the highest, 43% were from Navy respondents).

Throughout the country we've actually seen growing discontent for Donald Trumps chaotic policies, personal attacks and insults, and made-up outright lies. The assertion (his lie...) that a professional football player who kneels during the National Anthem is somehow disrespecting the military is absurd and ludicrous. The cause and intent of the NFL player's protests has absolutely nothing to do with the military. The objective of NFL protests is the same as John Carlos and Tommie Smith who raised their fists at the 1968 Olympic Games. The intent is to highlight the issue of racial injustice and police shootings of unarmed Black men.

Contrary to Donald's Trumps assertion of growing support among Black Americans, there are facts and evidence that shows a much different picture. Recent Gallup Polling (Nov. 26-Dec. 22, 2018) shows black support for Donald Trump at 9%. Despite his bogus claims, it’s clear that an overwhelming majority of Black voters are not supportive of Trump. For Trump, publicly attacking and denigrating black figures is nothing more than a racist dog-whistle that incites his base supporters. What he doesn't realize, (nor cares about) is the adverse reaction his racial rhetoric causes, particularly from minorities in the military.

As a delusional and pathological creator of distortions, Donald Trump doesn't realize that Black Americans, including those in the military, pay close attention to what he does and says. Black active duty military personnel are well aware of the constant attacks Trump makes on Black athletes, entertainers, pundits and politicians. One would would be remiss to believe that Trumps vitriol and disdain for Black athletes wouldn't spillover into the ranks of Black military personnel. The fact is that he doesn't care. Trump uses the U.S. military as political props in order to promote false narratives and subterfuge. As long as his message and the lies are heard and parroted by his media pundits, supporters and political base, for Donald Trump "facts don't matter."

Since the election of Donald Trump there's been nothing less than chaotic policies and constant lies coming from the White House. The country is very nearly engulfed in complete confusion. So i'll leave you with a decades old musical composition that's still relevant today... enjoy!


The Band

Click Photos For Bio.

And, Introducing- The SANKOFA HORNS!


The Music

(click on an album to listen)


SIRIUS is our latest release on the AFJ label. Its been well received in the Jazz world. All around the world SIRIUS has opened up to rave reviews.


Released in 2009, The Tradition Continues showcases the unique writing style of Olujimi Tafataona Every track highlights the fused combination of Afrikan rhythms, the syncopation of Bee-Bop and Jazz. Enjoy!


From the language of Swahili comes FIKIRA, which translates to "thought, the state or condition of thinking". FIKIRA features compositions written for the consious mind. Come along on a journey to fill your body and soul with FIKIRA!

In The Tradition TV, Radio & Print Interviews

Learn About our Team & Culture.

NU-DAY Interview

On July 15, 2014, Olujimi Tafataona was interviewed on the blogtalk radio program "NU DAY" by Empress Phile Chionesu. The subject of discussion was the influence of John Coltrane and the spiritual aspects of his music. To listen, click the above picture.

Jazz Network Worldwide Interview

Chet White from the internet radio station, The Jazz Network Worldwide, interviews In The Tradition. Click the picture to listen.

Interview with Imari Akua Jendayi

On Oct. 21, 2016 Maxine Michaels, renowned jazz deejay for radio station WRCJ interviewed Imari Akua Jendayi of In The Tradition and the Detroit Ladies of Jazz.

Click to Listen.

Origins of Jazz Interview (and more!)

Interview with Olujimi at The Origins of Jazz Explored at Pine Bluff, AK Arts Center.

Click the picture above to read print reviews.
**READ review of In The Tradition’s December 5th 2014 Appearance at Mayflower Congregational Church’s Mayflower Jazz Series.
CLICK HERE to listen to the April 2015 interview on Blogtalk Radio with In The Tradition band leader OLUJIMI TAFATAONA.
CLICK HERE to view our video perfomances

Contact Us

We’re currently working on new projects. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Details

  • olujimi@inthetraditionjazz.net
  • Olujimi Tafataona - 313-918-7174 or 313-926-1747

  • In the Tradition and AFJ Records are based in Detroit, MI. If you would like us to perform or host your event, please contact us via the email form, or the phone number listed above. If you're sending email please allow us 24 to 48 hours to respond to your requests. Thank You for visiting with...

    " In The Tradition. "