SPOKE, formed in 2005 in Brooklyn NY, is an exciting jazz quartet whose synergy is its identity. With a unique acoustic horn and bass-centered instrumentation, SPOKE set out to break the common format of bands led by a single bandleader/soloist/composer, and instead meets in collaboration with four strong voices of leadership. The band’s chamber quartet format is used to explore a wide range of musical influences from jazz to salsa, pop or contemporary classical, all infused with infectious grooves and conversational melodic interplay. To let the music speak for itself, check out the band’s recently released 3rd album, (R)anthems.
The members of SPOKE are all very active on their own as well as with SPOKE, and in recent years have performed at major festivals and venues on every continent except Antarctica, including such countries as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Holland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Martinique, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine, along with such diverse artists as Richard Bona, the Mingus Big Band, Bob Mintzer, T.S. Monk, the WDR Big Band and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra just to name a few.
Critical Praise for SPOKE
* Hot House Magazine called the band’s first album, Spoke “One of the most inventive records I’ve heard all year.” – P. Blair, Hot House Magazine
* SPOKE eschewed endless parades of individual virtuosity for compact, beautifully arranged pieces that bubbled with warmth and vitality.” – Jessica Nicholas, The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
* New York City’s All About Jazz picked Spoke as a top-ten release in 2009, saying:
The thought that went into the set’s twelve pieces is literally mind-bending… freestanding, differentiated chapters in a series of detailed stories that are anything but traditional… its standards and targets are set far higher than the norm. – J. Hunter, All About Jazz
Spoke Member Bios:
Andy Hunter’s sound was forged in New York’s vital Jazz, Salsa and World Music scenes. He performs worldwide with artists such as the Mingus Big Band, WDR Big Band and Richard Bona. A regular presence in New York bands, album credits include CD’s with the Birdland Big Band, Snarky Puppy, Bob Mintzer, Toshiko Akiyoshi and many others. Hunter has worked as a sideman with who’s who list of artists in both Jazz and Salsa, including Dave Holland, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and backing up salsa artists such as Rubén Blades, Tito Nieves and DLG. Since the end of 2012 Hunter has been a member of the WDR Big Band based in Cologne, Germany and currently tours and records regularly with the band. (www.hunterandy.com)
Dan Loomis is “a forceful and creative bass player”, “double-teaming you with style and substance”. He has played around the world with The Dan Loomis Quartet, his two collaborative bands, The Wee Trio and SPOKE and as an in-demand sideman with such artists as T.S. Monk, Patrick Watson and Ernesto Cervini. He has performed at NYC venues such as the Blue Note, and the Jazz Standard, as well as Tanglewood, Marciac and Charlie Parker Jazz Festivals. His genre-bending work with The Wee Trio has been called “the vanguard of the genre’s future.” (www.danloomismusic.com)
Justin Wood grew up in frozen Northern Maine, which might account for his warm sound and “spark-spewing solos that showcase the alto’s best qualities” [All About Jazz]. In New York City, Justin has established himself as a unique voice on the alto saxophone and proficient doubler. He performs and records with some of NYC’s most innovative latin ensembles including Chia’s Dance Party, Diego Obregon and Grupo Chonta, NYC’s many big bands, Evan Mazunik’s ZAHA, the Ben Stapp Zozimos Collective, and Big Five Chord.
Danny Fischer was born in Melbourne, Australia. After graduating from Melbourne University he had a highly successful performing career, appearing on over 30 recordings with highlights including 3 Australian Recording Industry Awards (ARIA) and 2 Bell awards. Danny then moved to New York in 2004 and formed Spoke in early 2005. He was an integral member of the critically acclaimed avant- garde country outfit Bryan and the Haggards. Notable appearances include performances at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall alongside Patty LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross.