Saturday, November 5, 2016

Jefferson Street Parade Band - Viral (Releases November 4, 2016)

Jefferson St. Parade Band Brings Bombastic Beats and Brass to the People on New Album

Weaving together many international influences, Jefferson St. Parade Band brings bombastic beats & brass to the people. A fully mobile party band, JSPB features an innovative drum line and a rich horn section. And their guitarist and bassist play through custom made Ghostbusters-style portable backpack amps.

JSPB walks a rare line: This brass band is at home playing jazz, world, and jam band festivals, tailgates, punk shows, schools, microbreweries, weddings, funerals, art museums, flea markets, groceries, and convention centers… Their unique combination of virtuosic horn solos, polyrhythm, and face-melting bass and guitar work has the ability to get rockers, toddlers, and seniors up and dancing.

Fall, 2016 finds JSPB putting the final touches on their third independent album: Viral is set for local release in Fountain Square, Indianapolis on Friday November 4th, with a national release on November 18th. They’re sharing the bill with Indianapolis’ Highlife heroes Sweet Poison Victim. Doors at 7, music at 8, all ages.

The new album is co-produced by JSPB’s director Ben Fowler, and Blockhouse media wizard Andrew Beargie.  Says Beargie, “Viral is one of the most natural and vibrant recording projects I’ve worked on to date.” JSPB’s previous album feature covers of Guinean heavyweight Famoudou Konaté’s Kadan and Konkoba II, and Brazilian composer Baden Powell’s Canto De Xangô. 

Their new disc focuses on originals by several composers within the band, along with a standout covers of Mexican traditional El Cascabel, and Easy Dub, by Jamaican electronics/sound pioneer King Tubby.

They have enjoyed success performing at Groove Fest (CO), Crash Detroit, HONK!TX, TEDxIndianapolis, Lotus World Music and Arts Festival (IN), Custer Fair (IL), The Wedge Brewery (NC), and The Blue Nile in New Orleans, where they’re slated to play their third annual Mardi Gras set this coming February 2017. Jefferson St. Parade Band has shared the bill with nationally-recognized acts The Soul Rebels, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Moon Hooch, and My Brightest Diamond. They’ve collaborated on recordings with Asthmatic Kitty recording artist DM Stith, and former tUnE-yArDs vocalist Moira Smiley.

“A kinetic explosion of intoxicating global beats and brass. The Jefferson St. Parade Band is a riotously fun experience.”
-DJ Kyle Long/NUVO

 “[JSPB’s second album] Consultation with Tubby showcases the talent of the Jefferson St. Parade Band, merging many genres together while creating a unique and cohesive sound that is undeniably their own.”

-Anna Polovick/Black Grooves

1. Austin City Unlimited
2. Most Annoying Song Ever, Gone Viral
3. Easy Dub
4. Jazz Bastard
5. Gas $$
6. El Cascabel
7. Swamp


Ben Fowler/Drums, Alto Sax, Director Fowler’s drumming inspirations are Elvin Jones (with John Coltrane), Mitch Mitchell (With Jimi Hendrix), and Famoudou Konate (Djembe master from Guinea, West Africa). His first love was the drum set; he traded it for the marching snare in an effort to take his music out of the stale bar scene and into the streets. He lights up the snare. As a songwriter/saxophonist he veers toward angular, unusual harmonies and arrangements (see Fowler Kilter, Swamp, Gas $$).

Fowler graduated from the IU Jacobs' School of Music in 2008, with a bachelors' in Jazz Studies/Percussion. At IU he studied with LA studio stalwart Steve Houghton. He has had lessons with New Orleans veteran drummer John Vidacovich, and studied regularly with Indianapolis jazz/gospel great Charleston ‘Deno’ Sanders. In years past, he toured Europe with DM Stith (Asthmatic Kitty), and toured the eastern and southern USA with The Delicious (Joyful Noise) and Kentucky Nightmare (Standard Recordings). Now he focuses the bulk of his musical energy on Jefferson St. Parade Band.

Aaron Comforty/TPT and composer. Aaron is an excellent multi-instrumentalist (Trumpet, pennywhistle, banjo, guitar, keys, drums, vocals). His wily compositions are a breath of fresh air in the JSPB repertoire (see Chalk, Most Annoying Song Ever Gone Viral). Aaron recently received a Bachelor’s from IU in Ethnomusicology with a focus in Music Education. Comforty has the surprising ability, simply through melodic ornamentation, to bring his listeners back to turn-of-the-20th-Century Bulgaria.

Alex Arnold/TPT and composer. Alex earned his BA in Music Composition at Earlham College. Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and active member in multiple other projects (!mindparade, Ladycop, Black Acid Arkestra). His trumpet playing is fiery and his solos are unpredictable. His love of Roma/Balkan music informs his compositions within the band (Koze Glavata, from JSPB's first album, Juntos).

Alex Akers/TPT. Akers brings crisp tone and clarity on the trumpet. A Graduate of Indiana State University in music education, he is an active performer, composer, band director, guitar instructor, producer, and clinician. His versatile musicianship has led him to tour nationally and internationally. Some past performances include iCandy Rock n’ Roll at Indiana Live Casino, Rhapsody in Swing (China tour), and several US tours with JSPB. Akers produces for the innovative hip-hop label TeamGreenWhatUp, and plays in Chicago based groups The Rave, and Caught on Cline.

Evan King/TPT. Evan was the principal of the Denver Philharmonic for their first international tour (China, summer 2016) and was the former principal of the columbus, Indiana philharmonic. King received his undergrad from IU in Trumpet Performance. He brings his precision and brilliant sound to JSPB any time that he can get away from graduate school and gigging in Denver, CO.

Matt Setzler/Alto Sax. Settler received his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Jazz Studies. He is now pursuing his masters in Cognitive Science at IU. He has performed with Lee Konitz, Buster Williams, Christian McBride, and John Hollenbeck. While living in Ann Arbor, he was a regular participant in the Free Jazz Church at Canterbury House. His playing is steeped in the Free Jazz and Bebop traditions.

Peter Hanson/Alto Sax. Peter, aka Daddy, grew up in Bloomington, and has spent much of the last 13 years in and around NYC. He received a jazz degree from SUNY Purchase College, and has since taught and gigged in and around Brooklyn. His tastes center on improvised, genre-defying music. He has toured with JSPB, and Jason Ajemian and The High Life (and with their new incarnation, Folklords). Folklords will be appearing in Continental Europe for several dates this fall.

Dylan Maloney/Tenor Sax. Dylan has traveled extensively in Latin America. He has paid several visits to Xalapa, the capitol city of Veracruz. There he focuses on learning a south-western Mexican folk music called Son Jarocho. This past year he arranged one of their classics, El Cascabel, for the Jefferson St. Parade Band. Dylan also studies luthiery in Xalapa. In recent years he has made several regional stringed instruments (the Leona and the Jarana), and two guitars. In the fashion of his teacher there, he builds stringed instruments almost entirely by hand!

Eric Arnold/Tenor Sax. Eric’s solos have a playfulness and a rhythmic edge that competes with the band’s finest drummers. Eric spends his time away from JSPB rebuilding an old Airstream trailer, writing code for apps, and producing trill beats.

Durand Jones/ Bari Sax. Through the bari sax, Durand can sing and cry, shout and scream. His years of classical training (Southeastern Louisiana University Bachelor’s, and an IU Jacobs Masters’ in Music Performance/Saxophone) have given him an effortlessness on his instrument (hear his solo on Gas $$). But his voice is uniquely powerful as a sax player and as a singer. His singing can be heard on his self titled 2016 release, Durand Jones & the Indications.

Zach Frasier/Guitar. Zach comes from a jam band background (nearly a decade with Elephant Quiz). He lights up the electric guitar like no other (Hear his solo on Party time excellent, and Most Annoying Song Ever Gone Viral). Zach is still scheming about mounting a pedal board to his belt.

Matt Romy/Bassist, composer, arranger. Romy studied Jazz Piano at IU Jacobs School of Music. He is JSPB’s Mingus, an excellent bassist with a hand in the overall harmonic landscape of the band. Romy's compositions lean toward driving funk (Austin City Unlimited, B.F.'s BFFs), with a harmonic depth that rewards continued listening. Romy is right at home playing punk/rock guitar (Community Currency), jazz piano, and heavy metal drumset (Marine Corpse). 

Ben Handel/Snare, Toms. Handel is a tireless drumline and drumset player. He has toured extensively with Blast!, throughout Japan and South Korea (Blast! is the 2001 winner of the Tony Award for "Best Special Theatrical Event," and the 2001 Emmy Award for "Best Choreography”). This summer he was involved in the arranging, rehearsing, and Japanese debut of the Blast! Disney Show. Locally, he works with IU's Marching Hundred, Bloomington North's Drumline, and the Owen Valley Drumline. Handel recorded and mixed JSPB’s second album, Consultation w/Tubby. 

Josh Olivo/Snare. Josh keeps things light and tight on his snare/tambourine rig. A consummate musician with two decades of drumming under his belt, he has an instinct for the phrase and an ear to the big picture. When he solos, Olivo prefers to explore the microscopic, expertly subdividing the flow of time. Goodhands Team is the outlet for his electronic work. Josh is a practitioner of Tibetan meditation, and slays on the basketball court.

Chuck Roldan/Toms, Bass Drum. Chuck is perhaps the most expressive drummer in the band. He can whisper on his bass drum/tom rig, moments before sending it to the repair shop! He brings together precision and raw energy like no one else. By day he works as a mild mannered math tutor.

Jack Stewart/Bass Drum. With a strong grasp of jazz, rock and funk, Jack has long been the foundational pulse of the band. He played jazz in school in Ithaca, NY, and has nearly completed a Masters in Information Science at IU. Jack wiles away his days inputting data into complex computer systems, waiting for the next chance to get.

Kevin Weinberg/Bass Drum. Kevin gets inside the unusual beats of JSPB, and always finds a way to give them his own twist. He works around town as a sound man, and an audio and video engineer. He studied jazz drumming, and received his bachelor’s degree at IU in the Recording Arts.

Matt Andert/Bass Drum and Engineer. ‘Dirty’ sawed his marching bass drum in half, and filled the open half with a cowbell and snare drum he made out of a cooking pot. He built an amplifier into the body of a busted acoustic guitar, gave it backpack straps, and played a keyboard through it. he built a PA system onto an adult tricycle and entered the Bloomington 4th of July Parade with a pickup band playing the Star Wars Imperial March.

Peia - Beauty Thunders (Releases November 16, 2016)

Peia - Beauty Thunders and the Ties That Bind

The seeker’s life becomes a quest. It’s a search that never seems to end, one that takes them far from home, a quest for the truth on the horizon. Each discovery along the way becomes a gem, a joy to be added and celebrated. For Peia, each treasure is a song, a link to her past and to her future, and she documents them on her third album Beauty Thunders (released November 16, 2016).

“I’ve been finding my own roots through songlines,” Peia explains. “My bloodline is mostly Scots and Irish, and before that, we believe, Basque – travelers who migrated north as the Celts receded from the mainland of Europe.”

That movement explains the choice of material on Beauty Thunders. It opens with “Szerelem,” with Peia’s voice rising over a shifting soundscape of melody for an otherworldly introduction to the disc, before exploring the Basque and Gaelic traditions, while including her own songs that tie the knot between history and now.

Throughout, the theme is movement. “Bánchnoic Éirann Óigh,” for instance, is an Irish leaving song, a lament of one forced abroad through poverty and famine.

“It’s such a beautiful, moving piece,” Peia says. “His fate is to go far away and never return. That really spoke to me as an American with our lost culture. The song came to me from a family of song keepers in Ireland, people who also hold fast to the Gaelic tradition and help it stay alive.”

Peia’s ears truly opened to the sounds of the world when she was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. She was already a hugely talented singer, whose teacher had pointed her toward many kinds of music, from opera to the swing music of the ‘40s, but a full scholarship to the Conservatory pressed her into the Western classical tradition.

“Within a year I knew opera wasn’t for me,” Peia recalls. “But there were classes in so many other things – klezmer, Turkish music, Indian – and I devoured them. I did the minimum I needed to satisfy my opera professors and immersed myself in everything extracurricular.”

With those seeds planted, she moved to Portland, Oregon after graduation and heard Sufi Qawwali music for the first time. Its deep spirituality resonated with her and she found a teacher to start her on the path before she left for India to dig deep into its music.

The seeds were starting to grow and they began to blossom on The Dance of Devotion, her first album. But it was with 2013’s Four Great Winds that she truly found what she needed in music, tracing the present back along with winding paths of the past, while still making each piece very much her own. She’d made her voice into a powerful instrument to carry the listener into the song, and it’s still growing, the remarkable centerpiece of the new album.

The arrangements for Beauty Thunders developed over time, building into the vision of each song that was alive in her head. Each piece keeps faith with the root of the music but builds on that foundation to create something deliciously amorphous, a sound that’s intensely personal but still immediately accessible, always topped by her clear, soaring voice.

“I like to keep the songs alive in old ways and honor the traditions from which they came,” Peia agrees, “with the chords and the melody line. But each one touches me and it changes as I keep performing it. That’s what I want to record.”

That’s very apparent in a deeply mystical song like “Que Mi Medicina,” which originates in Peru.

“I’ve been singing and tracing the roots of this song for many years,” Peia says. “I’ve tracked it deep into the jungles of Peru, but the exact tribe or region is still unknown. The song speaks of healing and seeing the unity in all things."

The healing that music can offer is a vital part of Peia’s life; the four original songs on Beauty Thunders make that obvious.

“That reconnection with nature is something we desperately need,” Peia says. “After all, it’s the elemental forces that give us life. The song “Beauty Thunders” is about the beauty all around us in this world and also the delicate times in which we live, while “The Old Ways Restored” talks about the need to respect nature, to return and remember.”

The ties that bind all the people on the planet, no matter how far back in time they stretch – those connections across history and geography are the things that are important to Peia, the way from the present to the past. Humanity, history, the way forward, they’re all there on Beauty Thunders.

1. Szerelem
2. Beauty Thunders
3. Ciamar a ní mi’n dannsa díreach
4. Dance in the Storm
5. Que mi Medicina
6. Txoria Txori
7. Bánchnoic Éireann Óigh
8. The Old Ways Restored
9. We will Rise Again


Peia is poised to release her third studio album, Beauty Thunders, a collection of traditional and original songs tracing the movement of humanity and her own ancestors throughout the ages. This new album is produced by engineer and Grammy Award Nominee Kamal Engles and includes an array of phenomenal musicians from the world music community. 

Born in Connecticut, Peia trained in Boston at the New England Conservatory of Music, followed by an immersion in Indian classical singing. Her recording debut was in 2009 with Renaissance lutist and Grammy nominee Ronn McFarlane. 2012 saw her first solo album, The Dance of Devotion, followed by Four Great Winds in 2013, which was signed by Sounds True for global release. These stunning recordings have sparked acclaimed tours across Europe, Australia and the USA, as well as collaborations with Rumi scholar Coleman Barks, mythologist Michael Meade and Iranian tar master Ali Ghamsari.

As an archival songstress, Peia has gathered songs from ancient traditions that span across the globe. She carries melodies wrinkled and wise with time, laboring faithfully to revive their language, stories and original essence. Praised for her crystalline tone and high soaring soprano voice, Peia’s music pierces the heart with bell-like clarity.

Accompanying herself with charangon, harmonium and guitar, her eclectic ensemble offers enchanting renditions of timeless songs.