He graduated in 2012 and stayed in the L.A. area for about another year, moving back to Baltimore in 2013, when he first became aware of the High Zero fest. "I had no clue it existed, to be honest, even though it's been going on since before I even left, because it's so underground," he says. He went that year because his colleague Luke Stewart told him percussionist Alvin Fielder, another AACM alum, and instrument maker Walter Kitundu were playing. Soon he got to know a few Red Room members, performed at last winter's MOM² concert with Thomas Stanley when he came to town to promote his book, "The Execution of Sun Ra Vol. II," and was eventually invited to this year's High Zero fest.