Interview: The Soul Rebels

New Orleans Brass Ensemble, The Soul Rebels, have a musical synergy that takes listeners to a place of tranquility throughout their latest full-length release, ‘Poetry In Motion’. I caught up with the guys to discuss feeling limitless within their artistic endeavors, the power of discipline, how the digital world has awakened new territories for creation, equality for women, culture and more.

Congrats on the release of ‘Poetry In Motion’. Tell us about the message that you intended to portray throughout the album. 

We intended for this album to portray limitlessness. As artists and based on our musical experiences, we truly feel limitless and freedom around our music. As a band, we’ve been through a lot of experiences, emotions and journeys throughout this musical life, and we feel our artistry is without boundary. This album represents a freedom of genre and style, a fusion of sounds, influences and cultures. We truly feel that this album transcends. We’re very proud of ‘Poetry In Motion’. 

Though a broad question, what have you learned about yourself and what skills have you developed through working in the music industry.

Having discipline and teamwork are qualities you learn quickly, and over time for a band comprised of eight band members like ours, we’ve learned how to have patience and support each other. Respecting every one’s voice and having a collaborative mind set has been powerful. We’ve grown to become very adaptable as people and as artists.  We’ve learned that we’re most successful when we create music that’s true to our hearts and souls. 

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

Musicians and artists go through stages of self doubt and suffer from that. But it’s part of the process, looking in the mirror and asking questions.  It’s something you overcome and learn from. But it’s always something that lives with you. We’re always questioning, it can be challenging and trying. 

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

The digital world has given us a lot of incredible and profound tools; to obtain information, access, knowledge and it has connected us all. It’s allowed us to connect with the world and have access to infinite information.   At the same time, it’s disabled some people’s ability to be self reliant and in some sense, be original. Some times the least talented are the ones that surface. For artists, it’s important that WE always respect the process of becoming an artist, and we always start by looking within. It’s important that we don’t allow a digital mindset from  overpowering and compromising our self pursuit of accessing our deepest artistic feelings and looking within. We hope the digital world doesn’t dilute and cloud our artistry. The digital world has provided a stage and opportunity for meritocracy. Anyone and everyone can become famous on Soundcloud, YouTube and Instagram. We hope these platforms and the infinite access don’t turn our society and culture into accepting and embracing meritocracy, and allowing it to be the standard. At the same time, the digital world has allowed us to share our message to the world, to everyone only a click away. Social media as been a primary driver for marketing the band and who we are, where we are and what we’re doing and when. 

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

We take pride in being hard working, humble and honest people. We have self respect, and we work very hard and try to think creatively and as innovators. We realize that we’re role models and figures within our community and culture, people look up to us. We care greatly about issues that involve mental health, equality for women and freedom of expression for all people. Issues surrounding the extreme police brutality epidemic and the unnecessary and unjust killings of people of color are profoundly important to us. We’re all in this life together, and we should all try to love each other a bit more. Civil rights, the environment, access to health insurance for all, access to education for all children, music education, human rights and providing kids with better support in our school systems are important issues to all eight of us. 

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

This is a great question. We try to stay healthy on the road. We are a group of eight musicians, we’re all close and we’re all here for each other. It can be hard to be away from home and our families while on tour. We try to take care of ourselves and make smart decisions, and have fun. The music lifts our souls and spirits. Music and performing for our fans all over the world is so healing. Performing gives us energy. 

You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way.

We’ve performed all over the world with a wide range of artists in a wide range of countries. We work with artists spanning Katy Perry and Marilyn Manson, Nas to Metallica and everyone in between. We’ve toured and traveled through the slums of Brazil, villages in Haiti and in rural China, South Korea, Indonesia and all over Europe. A few of the most important pieces of wisdom we’ve collected, is to always be a good person and show respect, and to always let the soul lead. Having soul, passion, love and channeling it through our music has been a blessing. It’s shown us that we’re all connected because we can all feel music and share in having a soul. Soul transcends genre. Soul is more of a philosophy, mindset and approach than just a musical style, it’s an attitude and feeling. Soul is our mantra. 

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

We hope you enjoy our new album! 

The Soul Rebels Social Links:


Music Reviews

Vancouver Jazz Musician, Eva Schubert, Releases New EP: ‘Hot Damn Romance’

Vancouver Jazz Musician, Eva Schubert, strolls into a breezy season of her life throughout her mesmerizing and serene new EP, ‘Hot Damn Romance’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Flying High”, Eva lyrically reminisces on the days in which she lived to meet the commands of another as she learns to stretch her wings while letting go of living for anyone other than herself. The second track, “Brawler”, begins with smoky horns that lead into the lyrical journey about a hustler in the city that makes moves from dawn to dusk as Eva falls into a state of lust. “Hot Damn Romance” is the third and title track that slowly speaks about the sizzling of an untimely romance that rocked Eva’s world out of nowhere as she reflects upon the beginning stages that still leave her in a state of shock for the love that she feels.

Throughout the fourth track, “Sweet Man”, Eva creates a feeling that would fit perfectly into a dark, city Jazz bar as she is lyrically playful and flirty which leaves listeners feeling like we’re taken back to the days when pure talent was the prize as Eva sounds akin to Amy Winehouse. Closing out with “Water”, Eva slows it down to lyrically confess her hunger for another that stays at the peak of her mind even though her pride doesn’t leave her with the desire to consistently express how she truly feels.

If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Sara Bareilles, Amy Winehouse and Sade, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Eva Schubert on SoundCloud.

Photo Credit: Tiziano Mammana

Eva Schubert Social Links:


Concert Reviews

New Orleans Group, Tank and the Bangas, Bring the Funk to Detroit

New Orleans Musical Group, Tank and the Bangas, brought their ‘Green Balloon’ Tour to Detroit and it was a delight for all to observe such an idiosyncratic bunch of musicians come together for the sole purpose of sharing their love of music. Touring the globe and finding success throughout emitting their own version of Funk and Jazz, Tank and the Bangas is a group that is bound to last.

Photo Credit: Jessica Golich

Tank and the Bangas Social Links:


Music Reviews

The J. & F. Band Release New Album – ‘From the Roots to the Sky’

Global Genre-Bending Band, The J. & F. Band, are spread far and wide physically yet entirely in tune through their artistry as one. Stemming from a boundless array of experience, the guys of The J. & F. Band have come together with the intent of unity, peace and the sheer joy that stems from eclectic music throughout their latest full-length release, ‘From the Roots to the Sky’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts. 

Kicking off with the first track, “GS#2”, the guys kick off with a scratchy strum into instrumental contemplation that is synergetic, fluid and organized in a manner to compliment each focal point of the wide-array of instruments that are incorporated. The second track, “Spirit Of The Great Plains”, channels the mysterious unknown while lacing a new musical energy into the world with The J. & F. Band’s smooth and eclectic twist on the modern times of Jazz. “West Bufalino” is the third track that begins with ancient elements coming forward through tribal sounds that provide an air of tranquility that listeners naturally swallow whole. The fourth track, “Dixie Chicken/Mischief”, picks up the pace with a Groove feel that mimics the likes of Grateful Dead as Lead Vocalist, Joe Fonda, stirs the soul. “Gone Too Soon” is the fifth track that is an ode to a human being that made their way beyond the physical over a moody Blues instrumental that carries the dense emotion that comes through the experience of death. The sixth track, “Roz, See You On The Moon!”, traverses into a psychedelic space abounding with color and light that is channeled through a kaleidoscopic array of musical spunk. “J. & F. Duet & Quartet” is the seventh track that is the perfect song for showcasing the soulful energy that the guys of The J. & F. Band lace into their artistry. Closing out with the highlight track, “Super Jam”, the guys of The J. & F. Band end on a high note with a positive stream of instrumental and musical consciousness. 

The J. & F. band are abounding with life experience that naturally flows through their music. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Cannonball Adderley, The Allman Brothers Band and Cream, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for The J. & F. Band on YouTube.

The J. & F. Band Social Links:


Music Reviews

Jazz Collaboration, The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet, Release Debut Album: ‘Over The Edge’

Jazz Collaboration, The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet, incorporate the traditional components of instrumentals with electrifying modern-day technical elements throughout their debut album release, ‘Over The Edge’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Beantown Bahp”, the group mimic’s the intro of a Billy Joel song back in his ‘Streetlife Serenade’ days as the trumpets and horns adorn listeners with an uplifting groove that serves to soothe any ill mood. The second track, “Poor Man’s Doctor”, begins with a tranquil pour of instrumental enchantment that floats seamlessly on a musical stream of light. “Blues 88” is the third track that is perfect for a slow dance with a lover as the guys blend moody instrumental flair with mystery while the piano trickles its way into the soul. The fourth track, “Over the Edge” picks up the pace and feels like a fast walk through a frantic day in New York City as the group of gentlemen give birth to a sound that will grab the attention of members of both the young and old generation.

“Yellow Mood” is the fifth track that can be placed into the opening of a theatrical act to enhance the intimacy of the experience as The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet overcome sorrow through expression and their artistry. The sixth track, “Something About the Moon” slowly eases the minds of listeners as the group create the feelings of wonder and awe with their instrumentals which is pleasing to the vulnerable heart. “The Defector” is the seventh track and album highlight that is tasteful and easy to digest with a glass of bourbon on the rocks in any bar setting. The ninth track, “Pieces of Mind”, is full of sunshine as the Boston gentlemen stroll through through a vibrant flower field and maximize their instrumental prowess to showcase the dynamic work that they are capable of producing. Closing out with “Feelings of Summer”, The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet reminiscence upon days of warmth over a fun blast of saxophone and trumpet in a style that is abounding with creativity.

Crafted with care and produced with minuscule detail in mind, ‘Over The Edge’ is the perfect album to add to your holiday playlist. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Reel Big Fish and Weather Report, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet on Soundcloud.

The Pearcy/Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet Social Links: