Spork! is a 5-piece jazz ensemble from Asheville, NC that combines unique instrumentation, high-energy musicianship and widely varying inﬂuences to create a totally new sound. A sound deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, but coupled with the raw power of rock or the sly grooves of hip hop. Trumpeter Justin Ray, clarinetist Steve Alford, and saxophonist Jacob Rodriguez make up the front line; playing horn lines with Tower of Power-like precision before taking off on solo ﬂights that bring memories of Miles and Coltrane. Bassist Mike Holstein is a wizard, ﬁlling the space with bass lines, but also somehow conjuring guitar riffs and piano chords from his instrument all at the same time. Drummer Ben Bjorlie is the glue, providing exactly what is needed at any given moment, from frenzied solos to deep pocket grooves. These musicians come together to create the Spork! experience.
Spork! was born when Ray and Rodriguez moved to Asheville from New York City. They were quickly accepted into Ashevilleʼs thriving indie rock/original music scene, and Ray soon began to look for the musicians he needed to perform his own compositions. Enter Alford, who had recently arrived in North Carolina from Chicago and itʼs one-of-a-kind avant-garde jazz community; North Carolina native Holstein, a giant among the jazz musicians of the southeast; and Bjorlie, a drummer equally comfortable in jazz, rock, funk, and the host of other inﬂuences that compromise the Spork! sound.
Since its inception, Spork! has been a favorite among musicians of all types. Their ﬁrst gigs at clubs around Asheville were populated almost exclusively by members of the music community. Their audiences have continued to grow, mostly through word of mouth. They hope to reach even more fans through the upcoming release of their self-titled 2 disc live recording on May 26th, 2011. The recording captures performances at two different Asheville clubs (The Rocket Club and The Magnetic Field) with the group at its funky and frenetic best.
Spork! will continue to record and perform after the release of its debut double volume CD recorded live in Asheville. Collaborations with other artists and groups are currently taking shape, including performances with a string quartet and a DJ in the continuing attempt to bring more inﬂuences under the Spork! umbrella.
Find out more about Spork! and see some great videos at http://www.facebook.com/Sporkband.
77-B Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801