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Featuring Justin Ray on trumpet, Steve Alford on clarinets, Jacob Rodriguez on saxophones, Mike Holstein on bass, Ben Bjorlie on drums

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.

Spork!
CD release Party
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
MoDaddy’s Bar

9pm, $5
828-258-1550
77-B Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
www.modaddysbar.com

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Acoustic Syndicate is excited to announce that they will be returning to the Visulite Theater in Charlotte, NC on December 17th & 18th for their annual holiday show! Joining them will be very special guest & long time friend and collaborator, Jeremy Saunders on saxophones! That being said, the mix of the McMurry ClanJay Sanders on bass, Saunders on sax, and Syndicate’s newest addition to the group, Billy Cardine on dobro, along with all the new tunes… This show is going to ROCK!

Here’s a nice video featuring Saunders on Sax from the Visulite in 2007:

Now imagine that with Cardine’s blistering dobro for the first time ever and you’ve got two historical Syndicate nights!


…And to think it all began from a simple Chritmas gift
in December of1977 when Joe and Fitzhugh McMurry, a couple of brothers from Cleveland County, NC got together and decided to get their kids bluegrass instruments for Christmas that year. The kids were brothers Fitz Jr. and Bryon McMurry, and their cousin Steve McMurry. Fitzie, as he was known back then, got a Gibson Hummingbird guitar. Bryon got an Eagle banjo and Steve got a fiddle from Sears & Roebuck. All were excited and happy.

Skip forward some years, lots of parties, & lots of bars later and in 1994 the band caught the attention of Steve Metcalf of the world famous Green Acres Music Hall, in Bostic, NC. He featured them at “The Acres” on a couple of big bills like David Grisman and Bela Fleck. In 1997, the Syndicate added Nashville bassist, Jay Sanders, formerly of the Snake Oil Medicine Show to their line up to complete the Syndicate core. In 2001 Syndicate added Jeremy Saunders on saxophones. The rest is a matter of record.

Acoustic Syndicate plays on with its message of peace, earth, unity and family. Come on out and celebrate the holidays with friends & family at the Visulite for 2 nights in December!



Show Details at a Glance:
ACOUSTIC SYNDICATE
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Visulite Theatre
Show starts at 9:45
Doors open at 8:00
$15 adv, $17 day of show

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