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MP3 Zuela - Off the Map

A horn-driven electric dance band that plays all original instrumentals with an exotic worldbeat flavor

13 MP3 Songs in this album (51:10) !
Related styles: WORLD: World Fusion, JAZZ: Dance Band

ZUELA – we do the impossible!

My name is Barry Hyman. I’ve been performing since 1965, and have had my own indy recording label, Sweet and Happy, since 1983. In 2001 I started ZUELA with two very young students of mine, drummer Lyle Somers, who was then eight years old, and guitarist Lucas Sconzo, who was ten. My friends, who are all professional musicians, laughed. “What are you doing performing with kids, they asked? It’s impossible to get anywhere with kids so young!” They’re not laughing now.

When I told them that we weren’t playing rock, but were doing my original worldbeat compositions with Caribbean, African, Latin, Indian, Arabic, Celtic, and R&B influences, they said, “That’s impossible! No way people that young could play all those complicated rhythms! There aren’t any bands anywhere that can play all those different styles, much less bands made up of kids!”

When we went in the studio to record our previous cd, Evolve, in 2006, I was told, "Those boys will panic and fall apart in a professional recording studio." Didn''t happen -- check out Evolve here at CD Baby...

By the time we started this new cd, in the fall of 2007, the band had expanded to a sextet (we added Jacob Goldstone on sax, Isaac Leslie on trumpet, and Ben Morse on bass) with everybody in the band except me between the ages of 15 and 20. By then we had played dozens of gigs and had developed a level of ultra-professionalism that is extremely rare in any performance ensemble – no noodling or audible tuning on stage, no long pauses between songs, no mumbling into the mics, no telegraphing the next song, etc. Once again, musicians my age said it would be impossible to get a “high school band” that tight, but once again we proved them wrong.

What else do we do that is supposed to be impossible? We play only instrumentals, yet we’re not a jazz band. (“Unheard of!”) We do live dub and live fades on stage, yet any musician will tell you that you can only do that stuff in the studio. We go from Afropop to bluegrass in the same set, and audiences love it! We have a band of mostly teenagers that old people like to listen to! (When the police came with a noise complaint to an outdoor party we played last summer, they liked us so much that they didn’t even hassle anybody!) Half of the compositions we play in concert are improvised on the spot, yet nobody can tell...

So try the impossible: Listen to ZUELA, and, no matter what kind of music you normally enjoy, I bet you’ll hear something you like. A band that can play anything and please anybody? That’s impossible, right?

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