Mark G. Meadows’ ‘To the People’

On the title track of his third album, To the People, the pianist and vocalist Mark G. Meadows sings, “No time to lose / Let’s spread the news… / And bring love to the people / Joy to the people.” It’s a powerful rallying cry on an LP of charged, heralding anthems. It’s also an encapsulation of Meadows’ whole ethos, as an artist and as a human being.

To the PeopleThe Dallas-born, classically-trained musician first made significant ripples on the D.C. music scene in 2014, winning the titles of “Artist of the Year” and “Composer of the Year” from the Washington City Paper. The young Meadows had risen quickly from being a rising star to one of the scene’s integral players.

Though trained as a jazz and classical artist, Meadows shares the genre-bending philosophy of modern luminaries like Robert Glasper. On To the People, he creates fusion that sits comfortably between Glasper and the righteous soul of early-1970s Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, both musically and lyrically. An a capella cover of the latter’s iconic composition “What’s Going On?” cements this.

Aided by his band, the Movement, Meadows responds with composure and finesse to a world of injustice and oppression, using a rich palette: screaming guitars, surgically precise raps and heavenly horns, courtesy of powerful sidemen like trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed. On numbers like “Stay Woke,” A Chorus of Action” and “What Would You Do,” Meadows brings forth a joyful and triumphant sound that seeks to yank down the walls of oppression like Joshua at Jericho.

With To the People, Mark Meadows and the Movement deliver an album that seeks to capture the future—what it will sound like, and how it might be. All we have to do to make it so is reach out and grasp it with them. logo


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About Jackson Sinnenberg

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Jackson is a freelance writer and broadcast journalist. His work has appeared on NPR Music, NPR global culture blog Goats & Soda, in On Tap Magazine, The Rotation, and the blog of Smithsonian Folkways Records. He previously covered the city’s music scene for WGTB, Georgetown University’s radio station, where he was a show host, writer, and columnist until his graduation. He graduated from Georgetown with a bachelor’s degree in American Musical Culture.

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  1. […] To The People, was named Album of the Year by the Washington City Paper and 2nd Best D.C. Album by Capitol Bop. Find more information and purchase To the People here. Additionally, Mr. Meadows will be arranging […]

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