Vinyl is the rare sort of band that can meld funk, Latin jazz, dub and reggae without coming across as pale imitators of the style of the moment. Instead, Vinyl can alternately sound like the best live funk, Latin, reggae or dub band you’ve heard in ages–and occasionally, all at the same time. Instead of going for flash or gimmicks, Vinyl brings it with fierce musicianship and zesty abandon, proving you can have both substance and style. It’s an approach that has made the band favorites of the festival circuit, but the best place to experience them is on the dance floor of a hot, sweaty indoor venue.
Originating in the San Francisco Bay Area 17 years ago, Vinyl has become as tight an ensemble as can be found in today’s music scene. The players have a keen understanding of each other’s musical expression resulting in a cohesive and adventurous sound that offers tasteful improvisation combined with a fortified, rhythmic backbone. Vinyl’s instrumentation includes the mighty Hammond organ, piano, guitar, sax, trumpet, flute, harmonica, congas, timbales, bass, and drums. This broad array of sounds enables Vinyl to explore Latin rhythms with authenticity, lay down their unique brand of reggae and dub, and drive it all home with booty-shaking, full-figured funk.
Originally an instrumental band, over the last few years Vinyl has enjoyed having guest vocalists join them frequently, both live and in the studio. The addition of vocals to Vinyl’s formidable foundation has presented even more flavors for Vinyl fans to sample. Soul, R&B, hip-hop, reggae… there’s something for everyone.
Vinyl’s extensive touring has brought them to all corners of the U. S. and Canada. They have played a multitude of festivals including main-stage slots at the High Sierra Music Festival, Reggae on the River, Oregon Country Fair, Mountain Aire, Jazz Aspen, Berkshire Mountain Music Festival, the All Good Festival and many others. For the last 11 years, Vinyl has played sold-out sunrise sets at New Orleans’ legendary Maple Leaf during Jazzfest. In 2001, Vinyl teamed up with Phil Lesh for a jam-packed benefit concert in Petaluma, CA with Vinyl performing as Phil’s band. Vinyl received a “Wammie” award for Best International Band from San Francisco’s SF Weekly and was voted one of the top 25 bands in the country by a jambands.com nationwide poll.
Vinyl’s sustained energy and adaptability to different styles and players illuminates their talents as musicians and growth as a band, and confirms their place as an everlasting fixture in today’s music scene.
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