Whether it is the heart of New York’s downtown music scene, at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains, or somewhere in between, the musical phenomenon known as Licorice is sweeping the nation. Considered “… too hot for TV” by The Telluride Daily Planet, the quartet seems to catch more than the ear with their contagious energy.
In August of 2003 Joshua Bloom (drums, vocals), Matthew Epstein (bass), David Lott (guitar, vocals), and Chad Dinzes (keyboards, vocals) solidified the musical force known as Licorice, and no one least of all the members of the band themselves could have expected such a rapid chain of events to ensue since.
It all started when Bloom and Lott had met at summer camp and began a life-long friendship of over 15 years. Later on, Epstein and Lott met at the University of Michigan playing together in one of Ann Arbor’s most acclaimed jambands Meropoix. In 2003, they were all reunited as Lott, Bloom and Epstein began rehearsing as a trio. Upon returning from their first year performing at the world renowned Telluride Jazz Celebration the trio began rehearsing with keyboardist Chad Dinzes thus solidifying the quartets current lineup.
In under a year’s time Licorice was headlining at New York’s most prestigious venues including The Lion’s Den, Tribeca Rock Club, The Knitting Factory, The Bitter End, etc…. In July of 2004 the band made their debut at the famous Blue Note in the highly anticipated Late Night Groove Series, tearing through a three-hour set of original music to a sold out audience.
Later on in the summer of 2004, Licorice made their way back to their second consecutive Telluride Jazz Celebration. Performing four times over the weekend, again turning the heads of audiences and musicians alike, the band was joined at different times by special guests Mike Dillon (percussion), and godfather of Jazz-Fusion Larry Coryell (guitar).
Returning to New York with a newfound energy, the band performed consistently during the Fall of 2004. Highlights included an explosive set at the CMJ Music Festival and a surprise Halloween Set at the famous Bitter End. Nearing the end of 2004, Licorice was performing on a regular rotation of nearly ten of New York’s hottest venues, gaining momentum, fans, and musical strength. Every set was more powerful than the last.
Throughout 2005 the band made strides both geographically and creatively. Embarking on a Northeast road trip: one highlight included a 2-night run at Burlington, VT’s Nectar’s in which the band opened for The Melvin Sparks Band one night and performed as part of the annual Mardi-Gras celebration on the other. Upon returning to NYC the band had the opportunity to perform at The Bowery Ballroom in support of Deep Banana Blackout. As the year progressed the bands sound continued to grow as they made their way back to The Telluride Jazz Celebration for a 3rd consecutive year. The band performed an unprecedented 5 times in 3 days, again capturing the attention of audiences and the media.
In August 2005 the band appeared in the “On The Verge” section of Relix Magazine as one of “5 artists you should know about.” Additionally during the summer of 2005 the band was voted #5 in a Jambands.com 250 poll.
As the band continues to write new material and work on the much-anticipated DVD they are eager to get into the studio to put together their interpretation of sonic realness. Stay tuned as the saga continues…