New York, NY – The rhythm section of the New York City-based funk/groove quartet ulu, will depart the band that they helped start and sustain. David Hoffman (drums) and Justin Wallace (bass) are amicably leaving ulu after five plus years of touring, friendship and music to go in different directions both musically and personally.
Scott Chasolen (keys) and Aaron Gardner (tenor sax/flute) will remain to continue the ulu tradition. Hoffman will be replaced by drummer Jason Gardner and Wallace with bassist Mitch Cohn.
Hoffman and Wallace will continue to tour with the band through the month of March culminating with one final show at the The Knitting Factory in New York City on March 30th.
"I wish Aaron and Scott all the best with the future of ulu," said Hoffman. "They are my brothers and always will be. I've been growing in a different direction both musically and personally, and have no definitive career plans right now. I'm going to see what life has to offer after ulu. I will always be thankful to my family, friends and the ulu fans for all of their love and support."
"There comes a time in everybody's life where change is immanent," Wallace adds. "The last five years with ulu have been the best years of my life. The people I've met, the music I've made and the experiences that I've collected have shaped who I am today. I think that the line up change will bring a new freshness to ulu and undoubtedly they will continue on the trail that we all helped to blaze. My immediate plans are to tour with Cooly's Hotbox (an R&B group featuring Topaz drummer Christian Ulrich) in England, including dates at the Jazz Café in London this April. I look forward to the diverse musical opportunities that will hopefully come my way over the next few months and have every intention of keeping in touch with fans and friends all over the country."
"Aaron and I have accepted a challenge from evolution itself," says
Chasolen. "As we honorably bid farewell to our mates of 5 years, the past will always remain with us. But now we look ahead, and openly welcome our new rhythm section into the ulu world. We hope you all will see us through our growing pains."
Drummer Jason Gardner, a native New Yorker currently residing in Boston, is one of Beantown's top musicians and magicians. Check out his website, JasonGardner.org, for more info. Bassist Mitch Cohn is a native New Yorker as well, who has shared the stage with Hal Crook, Ben Monder, Kenwood Dennard, Jamie Haddad (percussionist for Paul Simon), Victor and Reggie Wooten. Ulu's tour manager and longtime friend Todd Kaback, will remain on board for tours to come.
This announcement comes just before ulu embarks on a string of gigs leading them to and from the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX. The band looks forward to one last tour with the original lineup and urges fans to come out to say goodbye to David and Justin. The entire band urges its fans to be excited about the new sounds that will emerge from a modified ulu. The group will start to tour again in mid April with a date opening for moe. on April 19th, in Philadelphia.