New York City’s Groove Collective leaps into 2007, fresh off their Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Jazz Album.” For more than a decade, this legendary group of musicians has improvised and refined the stylistic crosspollination of funk, jazz, house, Latin, hip hop, rock and every party-inducing sound in between. Their recent Grammy nomination is an acknowledgement of the band’s pioneering sound. The members of Groove Collective are fluent in the international language of “groove,” and transcend musical category with one goal in mind: to move listeners’ minds and feet. In-the-pocket drum and bass, colorful and vibrant horns, flavors of world percussion and intricate harmony all fuse together seamlessly under their watch. Groove Collective’s innovative and refined sound is unparalleled. They are the masters of multi-hued funk. Billboard Magazine says that they “erase musical borders” and are “jazz/funk fusion at its most sublime.”
“Impressive” does not adequately describe Groove Collective’s accolades. They have toured Japan with BB King, Europe with Fred Wesley,Canada with the Dave Matthews Band, and recorded with Grammy winning Cuban pianist Chucho Valdez. The have backed the likes of Tupac Shakur (voted #2 all time live Hip Hop performance on MTV), Morcheeba, Don Cherry, Pharcyde and Natalie Merchant, and shared stages with some of the biggest names in music, including James Brown, Maceo Parker, Erykah Badu, Tito Puente, Issac Hayes, The Roots, Dave Matthews, Guru, Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Bela Fleck, Roy Hargrove, Michael Franti, Hiram Bullock, and the list goes on. They have spread their New York City vibe across the globe, making stops at Switzerland’s Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Netherland’s North Sea Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Japan, and New Orleans’ Jazz Fest. This all-star cast of players hits hard, and hits funky.
Groove Collective’s impressive history began in the early 1990’s as they fueled the growth of New York City’s acid-jazz scene. They quickly became a staple of a budding underground club scene known for pairing DJs with live performers. This groundbreaking enterprise was run under the media and event production mogul that would eventually become Giant Step. Groove Collective crafted and popularized the fusion of jazz and funk, pioneering what is now referred to globally as “groove” music. Jon Pareles of The New York Times says, “Groove Collective’s identity lies not in one fixed style, but in its capable hospitality to whatever might keep hips swaying.”
Through the years they have remained faithful to the “collective” spirit their name suggests, featuring a rotating cast of talented players. Their current six-piece incarnation features five original members.