Monday, September 24, 2012

The Shakori Essentials: Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Shakori Hills serves as one of the finest outlets for finding new music that North Carolina has to offer.  The sheer diversity in the lineup allows festival goers to expand their musical palette, taking in sounds of Latin jazz, Cajun zydeco, or socially conscious hip-hop on a day to day basis.  I know I for one never expected to see a band like Diali Cissokho & Kairaba, but once I happened upon their performance I was entranced by it.  Shakori is a melting pot of musical genres that somehow fit perfectly together, despite their vast differences.  Let's look at Friday evening for example, the 5-7 block is stacked with fantastic bands from highly different genres.  I'll be split between three shows in this two hour span, River Whyless, Hoots and Hellmouth, and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.  One of the great parts about Shakori is how close all of the stages are to each other, Meadow to Carson's to the Cabaret tent equates to a leisurely stroll as you ease your way from baroque folk rock to dancy roots rock to a steel pan lead jazz-fusion trio.  Jonathan Scales Fourchestra will be the first band from this trio that we preview for Shakori, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone at Shakori that's packing as much power as this group from Asheville.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra mixes the sounds of contemporary experimental jazz with a classically trained composer become steel pan virtuoso.  While Scales' steel pan subtleties are on prominent display, the band's true depth lies within how talented every single member of this band is.  Percussionist Phill Bronson seamlessly switches from time signature to time signature, displaying a rhythmic prowess that's easy to lose yourself in.  However, you can just as easily become enamored in how smoothly Cody Wright churns out technically proficient bass riffs with such ease and emotion.  The way the Fourchestra can command a crowd is mystifying, and a high energy set in the Cabaret Tent would make for a fantastic addition to your Friday evening schedule.

The band will be performing on Friday October 5 at 5:30 pm at the Cabaret Tent.

Check out video from the band's performance in New Bern's incredible venue, Broad St. Social Club:

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