Joel Cummins Guests With Eminence Ensemble At Electric Forest

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While Umphrey’s McGee wasn’t on the bill at this year’s Electric Forest, the band’s keyboardist – Joel Cummins – headed to the Rothbury, Michigan-based festival for its first weekend and made a few sit-ins. One of the guest appearances took place during Eminence Ensemble‘s set with high-quality video recently surfacing.

Cummins emerged as part of Eminence Ensemble’s performance to lend a hand on “Hacer Sex.” Guitarist Taylor Frederick considers Umphrey’s a big influence and discussed what he particularly likes about the jam titans, “There are not a lot of bands that focus on as many genres as UM. At any moment that power to switch can be pulled out on any given night. Their compositions are meaningful, their transitions are tight and hit hard, and as a band we look up to that and try to do that as well. They embrace the ‘rock’ at the foundation of their musical core (as do we), but you will also hear so many other influences solely based on their love of music in general.

“Whether that be rhythmically based with influences of Afrobeat, Funk or Fusion. Or their usage of space, and improvised parts, almost reminds me of parts within minimalism like the composer Philip Glass. We often get compared to them because we try to achieve that level of true virtuosity every night. Virtuosity in the sense that it’s not about just one person. But the true sense of a virtuosic musician who understands space, and how to communicate with others on stage in a highly intellectual fashion and with intent.”

Frederick added, “There are six members of Umphreys, just like there are six members of Eminence. However just like any group of people, everyone is different in their own unique way. The things we talk about, the hardships we go through in this life, our influences, stuff that makes us laugh. Those are what we write songs about. It’s what makes us different.”

Taylor has nothing but love for Electric Forest, “The world should take a look at this festival and learn a thing or two. Yes the music is amazing, yes the forest is mesmerizing and beautiful. But everyone can be who they want to be, dress how they want to dress, love how they want to love, and not be judged for it. That’s why it’s a family, there’s so much happiness in the air that it is intoxicating to the senses.”

Watch EE perform “Hacer Sex” with Joel Cummins:

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Eminence Ensemble