Many musicians seek to bridge the gender divide, and this intention is evident in the name Sound Fusion.
Sound Fusion plays a hybrid jazz-funk sound made up of some of Fredericksburg’s best young jazz musicians. Among them are saxophonist Ben Peters, drummer Kyle Smith, bassist Alex Rodriguez and pianist Jack Earnhardt.
While the group has been together since October 2020, with the release of their first single “My Favorite Things”, the group has been reuniting for three years.
âSo about three years ago I was in second year at the University of Mary Washington and my mentor Professor Gately sent me to do a concert at a festival called Kristallnacht, a market festival. winter in Market Square in downtown Fredericksburg, and I recruited Jack. , Alex and Kyle to play with me. What I didn’t expect when we jam was that we clicked, âsays Peters of the group’s formation.
From there the band continued to practice in Kyle Smith’s basement and recorded their debut album State of the Art which shows the influences that brought them to the world of jazz such as Jacob Collier, Herbie Hancock and John. Coltrane. The influence of Coltrane is strong because they take back Coltrane standards such as “Impressions” and “Alice in Wonderland” on the album.
Sound Fusion strives to blend its own sound from decades of study, experience and interest in Jazz, Funk, Rock and Disco music.
âMost of what we play is closer to the style of what was going on in jazz in the 70s and 80s. This is where we are, this is where our languages ââare. It’s just something we can all communicate and understand to each other. says bassist Alex Rodriguez.
Then the pandemic struck and that would affect how the groups would occur and where they would occur. For Sound Fusion, however, this allowed them to freeze even more as it would interrupt the plans of some band members.
âI was worried that by the time the band really started, we would have to go back to school at the New England Conservatory in Boston. One of the good things that came out of Covid was that the time spent with the group was extended. Said pianist Jack Earnhardt.
As the pandemic eases, Sound Fusion is making plans for the future. In addition to upcoming concerts, they are also planning a new album which, although they say it will be slower, will still contain the same mix of genres that brought them together in the first place.
âSo we talked about the second album, are we already talking about what we want to do next? This is our first statement since State of the Art which is the first. We agreed that let’s start with a song and see where it comes from. There may be something short that can come out of it, so I think it’s going to be a bit slower this time around. But we kind of want to build it. Peters said of the potential new album.
Sound Fusion will perform at Colonial Tavern on Lafayette Street in downtown Fredericksburg on Friday, July 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.