“Lafayette Gilchrist lives in Baltimore but grew up in D.C., knee-deep in the city's go-go music and hip-hop. Go-go dance beats inform his piano the same way freight-train boogie-woogie does. Players like Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson and Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials. If there's one thing Lafayette Gilchrist loves, it's feeding a groove like that. There's something trance-inducing about dance music in general, and in the textured patterns that Lafayette Gilchrist plays at the keyboard. His two-handed piano also has techno and minimalism behind it. It's not just about the notes; it's also about the waves in which they come, and the troughs in between.” Kevin Whitehead, Jazz critic, NPR Fresh Air with Terry Gross
Lafayette Gilchrist leads the New Volcanoes and the Sonic Trip Masters All Stars. Gilchrist's bands are genre-defying; featuring a propulsive rhythm section and a dynamic horn line, which never fails to raise the roof. His solo work and trio Inside Out invite adventurous ears everywhere.
While steadily leading his Baltimore-based bands with a progressive stream of new music, Lafayette Gilchrist toured with David Murray in his octet and quartets for 13 years. During his time with Murray, he performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival, recorded on Murray’s Sacred Ground EP for the National Hungarian Radio and Television, and played the Winter Jazz Festival and Vision Jazz Festival in NYC to name a few. He has performed with a host of prominent artists such as Carl Grubbs, David Murray, Cassandra Wilson, Macy Gray, Oliver Lake, Marshall Keys, Orrin Evans, Paul Dunmall, Allyn Johnson, TK Blue, Robert Shahid, Alan Blackman, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Tarus Mateen and many more. His compositions, Assume the Position and Coded Sources, are a part of the original score for David Simon’s The Wire and Treme, respectively. Gilchrist was also a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions Master/Apprentice award in which he mentored Ethan Simon in 2010.
In addition to mainstage concerts, Lafayette Gilchrist ensembles are also available for residencies workshops and masterclasses for children or adults. Through discussions, demonstrations and lectures, Lafayette Gilchrist’s educational programs are designed to musically engage participants through improvised music in the spirit of jazz but not limited to jazz. These interactive sessions can be packaged as a one-time workshop or longer term residencies. Fees for these programs range from $500 to $1,200.