The bass virtuoso was still a teenager when he joined Prime Time and got a lesson in how ideas are more important than notes “Ornette Coleman – Freedom Fighter" Without question the total Ornette Coleman experience for me has been nothing short of mystical, mesmerizing, educational and sensitive. Everyone who has crossed his path has their own story, and here’s mine.

Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s For The Love of Ornette Ensemble is honored to have been awarded prestigious Mid Atlantic Arts International Engagement Grant  and will be appearing in Europe in spring/summer 2022. 


For  The Love of Ornette Ensemble features , Jamaaladeen Tacuma Bass, Sumi Tonooka Piano, Alfredo Colon Sax/EWI, Justin Faulkner drums, a surprise guest soloist on Alto Saxophone will be appearing at select concerts. 


I remember playing my bass guitar in my high school latin/jazz band. I remember staying in my room for many hours, not wanting to go outside and play with the other kids, only wanting to listen and play along with 33 1/3 vinyl recordings of famous jazz musicians who played the big jazz festivals in Europe and Asia. I remember receiving a telephone call by then Miles Davis guitarist Reggie Lucas and percussionist James Mtume, asking me if I wanted to attend a rehearsal with Ornette Coleman. I remember coming to the famous loft on Prince Street in New York and meeting Ornette Coleman. I will never ever forget the sound of the first musical notes that left my bass guitar and those notes that came out of Ornette’s alto saxophone in that rehearsal. It was like a revelation to me, an awakening. A young man introduced to a higher level of musical thinking. Ornette invited me to go to Europe with his newly formed Prime Time band for two weeks. We stayed and rehearsed, recorded in Europe via Paris for 3 months. I was 19 years old. I was never the same afterwards as a man or as a bass guitar player. Ornette no doubt has played a very important role in my life. Musical mentor, life educator, guardian. He has helped me to define myself as a man and as a musician. There was one moment in my life as a young man when I was venturing on a spiritual path and decided that I did not want to play music anymore.Ornette heard of this and came to Philadelphia from New York, met with my mother and pleaded with her to convice me to return to music again. I did and I thank God and I thank Ornette Coleman. For the love of Ornette is my special thank you to Ornette for taking me in, allowing me to think as a human being, play music with the freedom of a bird in flight, and to be constant in my musical endeavors. This recording is “FOR THE LOVE OF ORNETTE” Peace, Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Jamaaladeen Tacuma — the most ecstatic, elastic, groove-laying, funkily free, deep electric bassist on the planet –followed with his For the Love of Ornette band (titled the same as his most recently released album, with mostly the same personnel). Ever since his mid ’70s debut (under another name) with Ornette on Dancing In Your Head, Jamaaladeen has been a bubbling spring of bluesy, out-bound movement, and his set starting with his “Tacuma Song” exemplified his style” - Howard Mandel - President Jazz Journalist Association

Arts Journal

Bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma joined the alto saxophonist/free jazz pioneer's electric Prime Time Group in the mid-'70s, contributing to Dancing in Your Head (Polygram, 1976) and Body Meta (Verve, 1976). With For the Love of Ornette, he teams with and pays tribute to his old boss and mentor. ” - DAN MCCLENAGHAN

All About Jazz

Mid Atlantic Arts has announced over $528,000 in grant support to 49 ensembles and solo performers who will represent the United States at 57 different festivals around the globe through the second round of USArtists International’s (USAI) 2021 program year. USAI grantees include 25 music, 14 dance, and 10 theater companies and solo performers from 15 U.S. states. The grantee pool is composed of 49% first-time grantees and also marks the inclusion of supported engagements in Bahrain and Monaco for the first time. USAI round two engagements comprise both virtual and in-person events and will take place between July 2021 and June 2022.”

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation