Chuck Treece

2010 Pew Fellow

Chuck Treece, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

“My overall purpose in music is to bring a sense of drive to the Philly music scene. I have worked diligently to stay vibrant in my career and never settle for less.”

Chuck Treece (b. 1964) is known as a seasoned guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist, and, in many circles, a skateboarding legend. The first African-American youth in Philadelphia to become a sponsored skateboarder in 1982, Treece started his band McRad in the same year, and the group is still going strong 28 years later. Treece’s music has evolved from its original punk-rock influence to a blend of contemporary genres, including punk, ska (a bass-heavy genre with roots in Caribbean music and rhythm and blues), dub (originally a subgenre of reggae music), and soul. His history of collaboration with other musicians and songwriters ranges from punk pioneers Bad Brains and contemporary R&B artist D’Angelo to Sting and Billy Joel.

In February 2013, Nike released a new shoe: The Nike SB McRad. The high-cut sneaker was designed by Treece in honor of his legendary skate punk band, McRad. The shoe design features a black, red, green, and yellow theme reminiscent of the May 1984 cover of Thrasher magazine, which featured Treece. He was first ever African-American to be featured on that publication’s cover. Culture blog Afropunk.com also posted a feature on Treece’s involvement in the 1980s movement to inject punk rock with reggae, funk, and metal influences, writing, “It’s always a good thing to see an icon and a true original get the respect they deserve.”

Treece continues to create, perform, and produce music within a number of contexts. One of his current projects involves H.R., the storied vocalist from the hardcore band Bad Brains. Treece also continues to skate regularly at FDR Skatepark in Philadelphia.


References

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Singers is a professional choral ensemble with a commitment to preserving and strengthening America’s rich choral heritage.

The Curtis Institute of Music mounted this fully staged production, presented in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia and Kimmel Center Presents.

Grants & Grantees

Within a welcoming educational environment, Al-Bustan supports the Arab-American community’s pursuit and affirmation of its cultural identity.

The Mississippi Blues Project featured eight exceptional blues musicians who made their regional debuts, all of whom were selected for their contributions to the genre and its continuing evolution as a vibrant folk art form.

Questions of Practice

2014 Pew Fellow Brent Wahl reflects on how Barbara Kasten’s Construct works helped him “make some sense of the forces of the postmodern climate of the 1980s.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

A Los Angeles-based dancer and choreographer, Dally is the artistic director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble, which she co-founded in 1979.

One of the few cemeteries to be designated as a National Historic Landmark, Laurel Hill Cemetery will rebuild the pedestrian entrance that once existed along its river façade, removed more than a century ago.

On the occasion of OutBeat: America’s First Queer Jazz Festival, jointly organized by the William Way LBGT Community Center and Ars Nova Workshop with funding from the Center, we invited Professor Ashon Crawley (UC Riverside) to unpack the concept of “queer sound.”

Network for New Music hosts a talk with composer John Harbison.

Grants & Grantees

People’s Light is one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional nonprofit theaters and is known for its resident company of artists, eclectic mix of productions, and for innovative work with young people.

Grants & Grantees

Lauren Mabry (Pew Fellow, 2015) is a ceramist whose expressive and colorful “dimensional paintings,” as she describes them, play with form, texture, color, and scale and blur the boundaries between ceramics, abstract painting, and sculpture.

This event features saxophonists/composers Liebman and Osby, and WNYC’s John Schaefer, as they address the unique challenges of collaborating across genres.