Choose Your Own Adventure is a live-composed funk collective from Central Virginia made up of jazz musicians who love funk, hip hop and R&B. They build tunes on stage from the drums up, creating a constantly evolving live experience that’s both viscerally and mentally exciting. CYOA wants to make sure that no matter what, the groove is the golden standard.
Gina’s explores fingerstyle playing and genre bending in her solo set, featuring her stratocaster channeled through a world of reverb and delay, built into a wall of sound with vocal effects. In this way she creates an entire soundscape with a one-person ensemble.
Most of this band has alter-egos as jazz musicians, but when they play as Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine, they rock. Original tunes, burning solos, soaring vocals, great grooves. Gina leads the group on flute, sax and vocals, with Dave French lending his blues-soaked strat and raspy voice to the mix. Ryan Lee is Dave’s foil, cutting through with cerebral tele solos that make you wait for it. The rhythm section might as well be one person – Simon Evans and Pat Hayes have been playing together since they were kids. Simon’s bass playing is defined and acrobatic in turn, but always locked in. Pat is the most sensitive rock drummer you’ll ever meet, clean response, subtle syncopation and funky funky grooves.
Original, high-energy, responsive jazz featuring:
Gina Sobel /// flute, bass flute, vocals
Jonah Kane-West /// organ
Kris Monson /// bass
Daniel Richardson /// drums
High energy duo, shrouded in mystery. One part blues, one part folk, one part Beatles.
Wytold layers percussive bowing and melodic finger-picking on bodyless, shoulder-strapped, six-string electric cello. He records these sounds live on both electric and acoustic cellos to create his own rock-orchestral accompaniment on stage, blended with an ensemble of Ethan Foote on bass, Chelle Fulk viola/violin, Jerry Tolk on guitar/banjo/percussion, and Gina Sobel on flute and saxophone. The two extra strings on his electric cello allow him to capture the depth and power of a stand-up bass, the rich tonal timbre of the acoustic cello, and the bright crispness of violin solos and harmonies, all interwoven with Gina’s soaring jazz melodies and agile improv.
A flagship program of Strathmore’s Institute for Artistic and Professional Development, the Artist in Residence (AIR) program was created more than a decade ago to support artists as they transition to professional careers. Since its inception in 2005, the program has mentored 76 musicians ages 16-32. Every year a class of six is chosen after a competitive selection program. Strathmore Artists in Residence benefit from the support of mentor musicians, participate in professional development seminars, and are offered extensive performance opportunities throughout the 10-month program. (Photo by Jonathan Timmes)
The Folklife Apprenticeship Program pairs an experienced master artist with an eager apprentice for a one-on-one, nine month learning experience, in order to help ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. Since 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has provided funding to support more than 100 pairs of masters and apprentices in all forms of Virginia’s traditional, expressive culture—from decoy carving to fiddle making, from boat building to quilt making, from country ham curing to old-time banjo playing, from African Merican gospel singing to Mexican folk dancing. Gina is paired with master Susan Gaeta studying Sephardic Ballad Singing. (Photo by Pat Jarrett)
United in the heart of Richmond, Virginia in 2015, Jouwala Collective blends Gnawa music, traditional African and spiritual songs characterized by trance inducing chants and rhythms, with modern influences of funk, jam, jazz, rock, soul, reggae, blues, chaabi and electronic. Erie synth notes create a soft background over which are laid tribal tones of instruments from a world away resulting in an atmosphere of spiritual healing. Incredibly fast, dynamic drum rhythms keep your feet moving while the overall sound holds you in a dreamlike trance. Electric guitars and rock themes interweave so that the mood, and the room, can be transformed immediately and without warning. Set to release their debut album in early 2018, Jouwala Collective is a unique musical force soon to be reckoned with.
Pressure Fit is the post-rock inspired hip-hop jazz brainchild of No BS Brass + Foxygen low brass artist Reginald Chapman.
Willie DE is a nationally touring blues guitarist who was born, raised and resides in Central Virginia. Growing up on Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, he busked on Charlottesville’s downtown mall and outside football games in Charlottesville performing original material and most anything the crowd asked for.
The meeting of Chris Dammann’s Chicago connexions with his Charlottesville crew. They come together to make Chris’ version of club thumping hits. The music is honest, visceral, and straight from the heart.