With three musical degrees and a major collaboration already under his belt, Jason Ikeem Rodgers—founder and music director of Atlanta’s first African-American orchestra, Orchestra Noir—shares on his success story in the making.
How many people make up Orchestra Noir?
Fifty—made up of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, violins, violas, cellos, basses and percussionists. We’re actually now adding saxophones to the mix, which is something we’re very excited about!
How would you describe your sound and style?
One word: diverse. Orchestra Noir is a reflection of my total musical journey. I, myself, have so many different influences. So when you come to an Orchestra Noir concert and you hear Beethoven and Bruno Mars on the same program—that’s me finally figuring out the way to blend my two worlds. And that’s something I’ve wanted to do my entire life.
What was it like collaborating with megastars like Migos and 2 Chainz on Migos’ Culture album?
It was fantastic! This collaboration actually taught me a lot about the hip-hop industry—to make it big in this genre, you have to have a relentless worker. When these guys arrive on set, all they want to do is work. They would get things done so fast and efficiently it would blow my mind.
And what’s in store for the orchestra’s future?
Touring! I want to get around to some different cities in the Southeast and then to different cities in the country.
Photography by: Orhchestra Noir