Carmen Lundy: Modern Ancestors


Jazz vocalist, composer, and artist, Carmen Lundy talks with Big Blend Radio about her art and new album, “Modern Ancestors.”

“I have always felt that the jazz singer by definition is associated with standards from the past century, our Ancestors. The idea of Modern is simply to give the music I write and sing the chance to be seen and heard in the now – authentic 21st century Jazz. My vocal influences include many of our great and most recent predecessors: Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, John Coltrane. This project pays tribute to these fine artists, and to the cultural and musical contributions from the diaspora. The Modern Ancestors who left behind a legacy and defined the sound and spirit of Jazz, the music of our time and all times.” — Carmen Lundy

This episode of Big Blend Radio features jazz vocalist, composer, and artist, Carmen Lundy who discusses her art and new album, “Modern Ancestors,” out now on Afrasia Productions.




Modern Ancestors. Two words with significantly different connotations that come together and remind us that not only do opposites attract, but that we are all products of those who came before us; our Ancestors can be honored and reinterpreted, continually present and very much a part of who we are and what influences us today. Such is the common thread running through Jazz vocalist and composer Carmen Lundy’s brilliant new album, Modern Ancestors. Featuring 10 self-penned and arranged tracks and a stellar band consisting of Julius Rodriguez on piano, brother Curtis Lundy on acoustic upright bass, Kenny Davis on electric and acoustic bass, Mayra Casales on percussion, Terreon Gully and Kassa Overall on drums and Andrew Renfroe on guitar, Modern Ancestors was released via Afrasia Productions and will be accompanied by tour dates both in the US and abroad.

From the Gospel-inflected musings of “Burden Down, Burden Down” (Hello Sister Rosetta Tharpe!) to the Afro-Cuban vibes of “Ola De Calor” and “Affair Brazil”; from the Geri Allen-inspired tracks “A Time For Peace” and “Clear Blue Skies” to the cynical humor of “Jazz On TV” and the terror and sadness of “Flowers And Candles”. From the beautiful love songs of “Meant For Each Other” and “Still” to the tropics-inspired “Eye Of The Storm,” Modern Ancestors takes the listener on a musical journey that traverses a multitude of cultures, emotions and generations and is at the same time unlike any album Carmen has recorded in the past and yet remains so true to her craft.

Simultaneously with her music, Carmen is also an accomplished visual artist and is currently at work on a gallery exhibit of her art. Self-trained and working in a variety of mediums ranging from oil to mixed-media sculptures with found objects, Lundy’s oeuvre is highly imaginative, creative and visually striking, and features a variety of subjects ranging from musicians to reflections on the African American experience to abstract images. Several examples of her art can be seen at


National Parks Arts Foundation Song Game


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