ABOUT KNEEBODY //
When Kneebody first convened in the year 2001, they were five twenty-somethings gigging around Los Angeles’ vast pockets of nightlife. Trumpeter Shane Endsley and saxophonist Ben Wendel formed the frontline, telepathic and complimentary, while keyboardist Adam Benjamin, bassist Kaveh Rastegar and drummer Nate Wood formed the rhythm section.
These five artists, all bandleaders in their own right, have become first-call musicians not only for their jazz contemporaries, but also for mainstream icons such as John Legend, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg and Pearl Jam to name a few. Yet throughout the years, Kneebody has always remained their artistic home.
It is the goal of the band to not be confined to any genre. Though they exist in an instrumental jazz world, their influences and abilities cover an enormous swath of genres from chamber pop to hard-driving electronic-based productions.
“I’ve often joked that our band is almost infamous at this point for being extremely hard to describe,” says Wendel. “I’ve always been proud of that. The music we’re doing is always new but the band itself is not new. Kneebody has always been our creative home. It’s always been the ground for us.”
NEW DIGITAL EP ‘BY FIRE’ //
With their forthcoming digital EP release, ‘By Fire’, the band offer a set of recorded covers for the first time in their career, teaming up an eclectic array of guest singers and instrumentalists including Michael Mayo, Becca Stevens, DAWN, Josh Dion (of Paris Monster) and Gerald Clayton, to put their own spin on five songs by Hiatus Kaiyote, Wye Oak, Soundgarden, The Band and John Legend.
This EP release also marks the start of a new era for Kneebody, as bassist Kaveh Rastegar steps aside and sees the band move from a quintet to a quartet with Nate Wood taking the dual role of drummer and bassist, for which he has become brilliantly and inventively known in recent years in his solo project fOUR.
Since releasing their self-titled album in 2005, Kneebody, based across the US in Brooklyn, Denver and Reno, have created a genre and style all their own. With explosive rock energy, high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing and adventurous no-holds-barred improvising, Kneebody have amassed an impressive list of credits and accomplishments while the band has continued to thrive and grow in reputation, solidifying a fan base around the world.
Kneebody are the embodiment of a deep friendship, musical collaboration and collective creative spirit at its best. “We are a democratic, equally owned-and-operated band with shared leadership,” says Shane Endsley. “Everyone brings in music and everyone votes on everything.”
Ben Wendel – Tenor Saxophone, Effects
Shane Endsley – Trumpet, Effects
Adam Benjamin – Rhodes, Synths
Nate Wood – Drums, Electric Bass, Background Vocals
“There isn’t a handy term or genre for the music that Kneebody creates. It’s a band thoroughly acquainted with 1960s free-bop, 1970s jazz rock, 1990s hip-hop and postmillennial indie rock; along with classical postminimalism. (I’m leaving something out, I’m sure.) Whatever the terminology, this group has an audience…” — New York Times
Kneebody’s new digital EP ‘By Fire’ will be released in April 2019.
NEW ALBUM ‘CHAPTERS’ //
Kneebody do not stand still. Always searching, always committed. Intent on discovering new pathways of musical expression. Never complacent and never predictable. Kneebody are one of the most adventurous and exciting bands of their generation for their sheer virtuosity and musicianship, armed with a clarity of vision and understanding of who their audiences are. Chapters, their 9th studio album and their first full album since they became a four piece with the extraordinary Nate Wood taking the dual role of drummer and bassist, is highly original, explosive and inventive. A powerhouse of firepower and virtuosity told with commanding musical intent.
Held together with their trademark sound of displaced beats, infectious riffs and haunting unison horns blended with compelling affected solos, a musical confidence and a sublime musical language, Chapters is one of their most spirited and accomplished albums to date. An album of originals featuring a stellar array of guests including Michael Mayo, Gretchen Parlato, Josh Dion and Becca Stevens, it has the potential to become a modern day great! With an explosive vitality and exuberance, and, at the flick of a switch, the ability to switch from a wall of monstrous improvisations to a sound of nuanced sweetness, Chapters epitomises Kneebody’s reason for being.
“Putting a finger on a band like Kneebody is a bit like raising it to the wind. At any given moment, the group’s artistic inclinations can whip in an unpredictable direction.” — Wall Street Journal
Chapters will be released on Edition Records on 18th October 2019 – Pre-order now.
TOUR DATES //
September 28 / Jalisco Jazz Fest / Guadalajara, MX
October 3 – 5 / Blue Whale / Los Angeles, CA
October 6 / The Art Boutiki / San Jose, CA
October 8 / Frankies Jazz Club / Vancouver, BC
October 9 / Earshot Jazz Festival / Seattle, WA
October 10 / The Jack London Revue / Portland, OR
October 24 / The Ardmore / Ardmore, PA (TBC)
October 25 / BRIC JazzFest / Brooklyn, NY
11/8 – Macon, FR – Le Crescent Jazz Club
11/9 – Fribourg, CH – La Spirale
11/12 – Paris, FR – Duc Des Lombards
11/13 – Paris, FR – Duc Des Lombards
11/14 – Munchen, DE – Jazzclub Unterfahrt
11/15 – Berlin, DE – Zig Zag Jazz Club
11/17 – Freiburg, DE – Jazzhaus Freiburg