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Soul Will Travel - 8th Floor Studios - Recording session
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by Jay Mazza
Italy with the Funky 7 Brass Band, 2004
If you could only use one word to describe
New Orleans drummer Kevin O'Day, that word would have to be "versatile."
He is skilled in a plethora of styles from traditional jazz to the hip hop beats
of the 21st century.
Recently in New Orleans, Kevin has performed with three groups, each with their own distinct sound: Midnite Disturbers, the Posse, and Alive. Now based in Los Angeles, Kevin O'Day is looking forward to the exciting possibilities of the new projects he has initiated there.
O'Day has worked with soul and blues
legend Walter "Wolfman" Washington's Roadmasters, taking over the
drum chair that was held for many years by Wilbert "Junkyard Dog"
Arnold. In addition to his work with Washington's regular band, he also has
led an allstar quartet that features Washington, trumpeter James Andrews and
keyboardist Brian Coogan.
In recent years, O'Day has also worked
with Funky Meters guitarist Brian Stoltz's solo project. His resume also includes
stints with the groove jazz of Have Soul Will Travel; the roots rock of Anders
Osborne and Eric Lindell; the hoodoo blues of Papa Mali as well as the contemporary
jazz of saxophonist Robert Wagner.
In a town filled with great drummers
and renowned across the globe for percussive innovation beginning with the great
trad jazz drummer Warren "Baby" Dodds, O'Day stands out as the go-to
guy for gigs of any variety. He is regarded among his peers as a drummer's drummer
with a passion that never wanes and a sympathetic ear that defines musical telepathy.
O'Day, who is also a well-regarded composer
and lyricist, gravitated to music at an early age developing proficiency on
the piano and guitar before finding his muse behind the drum kit at the age
of 11. He matriculated through Loyola University under the tutelage of Johnny
Vidacovich- the dean of working and teaching drummers in the Crescent City.
But long before he completed his course work, O'Day was working the clubs and
festivals of New Orleans.
One of his first local gigs was with
multi-reedman Robert Wagner at the now- defunct Kaldi's Coffee House. The trio,
which featured bassist Andy Wolf, would set the stage for future musical explorations
and establish O'Day's jazz credentials. The three musicians went on to become
the core of the avant- performance band Iris May Tango and years later O'Day
would appear on Wagner's adventurous solo debut.
O'Day's first brush with major label national attention came as a member of
the critically acclaimed group Royal Fingerbowl, that signed with TVT Records
in 1997. The band's unusual instrumentation, standup bass (Wolf again), sit-down
electric guitar along with O'Day's minimalist drum kit, and eclectic repertoire
helped him develop his sense of dynamics. The band could effortlessly veer from
a jazz-inflected original that evoked the Tin Pan Alley tunes of yesteryear
to a manic cover of Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train."
A two-year tenure with the New Orleans
Klezmer Allstars, sitting in the drum chair that also was occupied by "Mean"
Willie Green of the Neville Brothers and Stanton Moore of Galactic, gave O'Day
a chance to hone his skills in a world music setting that belied its jazz sensibility.
Before long, the musically insatiable
drummer was moving in another direction towards the funk and soulful jazz spawned
by New Orleans drum icons like Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste and Idris
His long association with Swedish rocker-turned-acclaimed-songwriter
Anders Osborne bloomed when Osborne reconfigured his band into a quartet and
brought in Kirk Joseph, late of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Along with tenor
man Tim Green, the band forged new roads in trance-inspiring performances further
establishing O'Day's cred as a high-energy player who could communicate with
top-flight musicians at the maximum level.
O'Day's relationship with Joseph, arguably
the most important sousaphonist from New Orleans, produced an extremly funky
group called Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove with a CD entitled Sousafunk Ave.
Along the way, O'Day has lent his considerable
chops to a huge array of performers. He was a member of the Kosmic Krewe- an
eclectic jazz/funk band led by trumpeter Michael Ray of Kool and the Gang and
the Sun Ra Orchestra. He has recorded and performed with All That, another innovative
group that merged the second line beats of New Orleans with hip hop. He has
also performed and recorded with the trombone collective Bonerama.
O'Day's deft touch on the drums is augmented
by his deep knowledge of music of every variety. He is as comfortable on the
stage at Snug Harbor- New Orleans' premier modern jazz club- as he is in gritty
juke joints and watering holes. He gives his heart and soul to the music whether
he is on a giant stage in front of thousands at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
Festival or in a tiny club with only a handful of fans.
Kevin O'Day has been one of the leading
lights on the New Orleans music scene for more than a decade. He is a charter
member of the fertile Frenchmen Street scene and has worked with a literal who's
who of the next generation of New Orleans musicians in addition to many of the
luminaries who have already made their mark.
He is now prepared to take his career
to the next level. His prowess as a drummer and his skills on the microphone
continue to grow with each gig and each new association. He has soaked up his
influences and experiences and distilled them down into an expressive personal
style that is instantly recognizable and undeniably original. He is poised for
a break-out. Get ready world, Kevin O' Day is coming.
Monday Special - $1 Miller High Life, $2 Jambalaya, - The Mint Los Angeles!!
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Kevin O'Day has a sympathetic ear that defines the soul of New Orleans Music. He has been one of the leading lights on the New Orleans music scene for over a decade. In addition to leading his own project, he has performed with Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Ivan Neville, Anders Osborne, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, and members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. ~ Website
DJ Quickie Mart
Quickie Mart has toured every corner of the country as a solo artist, as well as with other acts like The Knux, Galactic, and Q-Tip.
He has been featured four years in a row at Bonnaroo. He has shared stages with artists such as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Jurassic 5, RJD2, Lyrics Born, Joss Stone, Perry Farrell's Satellite Party, Gift Of Gab, and Inspektah Deck…just to name a few. Quickie Mart is featured every Monday Night with The Kevin O'Day Band.
Touring keyboardist for Panic at the Disco, Adrian Hibbs is now based out of Los Angeles, after developing his sound in New Orleans and New York. He has been inspired by the Soul and R&B roots of the 70's. His musical influences run the gamut from Donny Hathaway to Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers. Adrian's style resonates from all of these legends. Adrian teamed up with producer Scotty Hard (Wutang, MMW, Boogie Down Productions) in 2007 to record original songs arranged on his self-titled EP “The Adrian Hibbs Project,” with a full length CD due out later this year. He will be featured this Monday Night with The Kevin O'Day Band at the Mint.
Sam Meek has been thriving in the Los Angeles music scene for several years now. After moving to L.A . from his native North Carolina 8 years ago, he has worked as both a session guitarist and as a sideman for many artists in styles including: Blues, Funk, Gospel, Pop, Soul and Country. He has had the fortune to tour internationally with such artists as Janiva Magness (WC Handy Blues Multiple Award Winner), JD Webb (Platinum Song Writer and R&B Artist), and Miss Willie Brown. He has had the honor to perform alongside great artists like The Derek Trucks Band, Steve Winwood, Johnny Winter, and The Neville Brothers to name a few. Recently, he has had the pleasure to work with some of L.A.'s top musicians such as: James Gadson, Gary Novak, Gerry Brown, Mike Landau, Kirk Fletcher, and Travis Carlton. Sam can now be heard laying down funky rhythm guitar and scorching solos on Mondays at The Mint with The Kevin O'Day Band.
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