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Jazz and R&B pioneer – Jazz Percussionist and Political Activist



Jazz and R&B pioneer


James Mtume died on October 23, 2013. He was both a jazz musician from America and a prominent political activist. James Forman was his real name. However, he was sometimes known by the alias Mtume. His jazz and R&B music were his trademarks. He is also a Grammy-winning percussionist.

Jazz and R&B pioneer

Jazz and R&B pioneer

James Mtume is an American jazz pioneer. He was born in Philadelphia in 1946. Bertha Forman, his mother, was Bertha Heath. Jimmy Heath was the father.

He was awarded an athletic scholarship in 1966 to Pasadena City College. He moved to New York after completing his degree to follow a career as a musician.

Mtume began swimming as a teenager. When he was 21, he landed his first legitimate gig. He was already playing in Greenwich Village clubs by the age of 25.


Mtume, a musician, and songwriter had a long and successful career. He wrote hits for artists such as Roberta Flack, Mary J. Blige, and Donny Hathaway. The R&B hit “Juicy Fruit” is his most famous song. Other singers also had songs he produced.

Mtume toured around the globe while he worked with R&B and jazz legends. He appeared on numerous notable albums, including Miles Davis’ On the Corner, Herbie Hancock’s Live at Carnegie Hall, and Dizzy Gillespie’s Live at the Village Vanguard.

Grammy-winning percussionist

James Mtume passed away on Sunday, November 2, 2012, at the age of 76. Mtume, a pianist, percussionist, and record producer was an iconic figure in R&B, jazz, and R&B during the 1970s and 1980s. Mtume has also been a part of many other famous bands.

Over 80 albums were recorded by him. He was also a member with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie as well as Lonnie Liston Smith and Sonny Rollins. Mtume was also a writer for Roberta Flack (Phyllis Hyman), Mary J. Blige and Donny Hathaway. The Notorious B.I.G. sampled “Juicy Fruit,” one of Mtume’s most well-known songs. In their smash single, “Juicy”,

In the early 1970s, Mtume began his career as a percussionist with Freddie Hubbard. He moved to New York City after five years. From there, he collaborated with R. Kelly, R. Kelly, and Reggie Lucas, among others.


In the late 1970s, Mtume formed his own band, Mtume. Its music is described as “Sophistifunk,” which was a blend of jazz, hip hop, and R&B. In Search of the Rainbow Seekers was released in 1980 and Kiss the World Goodbye, 1978.

The Quotable Karenga co-editor

James Mtume has been a leader in R&B, and he died today at the age of76. His musical talents were not the only thing that made him a success. He also was an activist. His family and contemporaries will always remember his legacy.

He was born in Philadelphia, January 3, 1946. Growing up in musical families, he was a talented child. As a youngster, he learned piano and percussion. Swimming was something he pursued as a teenager. His college years saw him receive a scholarship to Pasadena City College.

As a musician, Mtume worked with a variety of jazz greats, including Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. He also co-wrote songs alongside Stephanie Mills and Roberta Flack. Besides his career as a singer and songwriter, he is known for his work as a producer.

In the 1970s, he became a member of Miles Davis’s band. Later, he toured for five more years with the band. During this time, Mtume was credited with reorienting the rhythms of some of Davis’ later albums. After this, he formed his own group, Mtume.


Political activist

James Mtume is a jazz musician, radio personality, journalist, and activist. Mtume is well known for his contributions to the music business. Mtume’s social consciousness was also reflected in his writing, speaking, and participation in Black Power.

As a jazz musician, he played with many major artists. Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins were his musical influences. Herbie Hancock was also a major influence. He is best known for his albums “The Theater of the Mind”, and “Kiss This World Goodbye”.

He became involved with the Black Power Movement after his music career. His work also included public housing and the justice system. He was the recipient of the Amateur Athletic Union’s first backstroke title.

As a political activist, he was one of the co-conveners for the Third National Black Political Convention. He also co-edited The Quotable Karenga.

Mtume co-hosted the “Open Line” talk show before retiring from music. It was aired by New York station WRKS. This show focused on politics and culture. He was joined by radio personalities Dr. Bob Pickett, Bob Slade and others.