Jacob Collier calls from Chile, where he’s in the middle of a South American tour. He’s a long way from the London bedroom where he got his start, showing off his virtuosity and intricate arrangements in YouTube videos that caught the eye of no less a starmaker than Quincy Jones. A few short years later, Jones is his mentor and manager, while The Guardian has dubbed the 23-year-old “jazz’s new messiah.” Quite the remarkable turn of events, but Collier seems to have adjusted to the transition just fine.
“It’s a really interesting situation, because when you make music at home all the energy goes into the process, and touring’s all about the energy going outward,” says Collier. “I had to learn how to do that transition, but once I figured that out it’s so much fun.”
Collier is particularly excited to play Boston this Thursday, when he will be performing in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall as part of its pop/rock/hip-hop concert series RISE. He has some history with this area; it’s where he met with MIT Media Lab PhD candidate Ben Bloomberg, 27, to develop his groundbreaking one-man stage show.
“Ben’s super-awesome,” says Collier. “This upcoming show actually feels like a home gig in some ways.”