ODU Alumni Takes Jazz Fusion to The Next Level

Updated: Mar 4

Album cover art and image courtesy of Gabrielle Belmer and Isaiah Hudgins

By Jada Carson

Raw instrumentation and originally are some of the elements that drive the Sunband. Every single member of the music group is an alumni of Old Dominion University. The band consist of EPT the guitarist, 48thst. Bass player, Jon Keysley keyboard player, and Crispy6 the drummer.

One of the first questions I asked was what is Sunband and how it all started? 48thst included that,“Sunband is a collective of producers/instrumentalists from VA that come from different backgrounds but share a common interest in DOPE music. We all collectively met at ODU but in different ways. 48,EPT and Jon all met through the odu music program and Chris studied Engineering at ODU but 48 and Chris go back to highschool as well as being college roommates which is how EPT and Jon would eventually meet Chris. Chris and 48 have been playing together since highschool. While at ODU 48 was asked to join a band and he asked EPT to join him. The drummer in that band then decided to leave so 48 asked Chris to join. All 3 of us had been playing together for a little before we really started playing with Jon outside of ODU Jazz band. One night we (48, EPT, and Chris) were all jamming and had asked Jon to come through and the rest was history. We realized that it was better than the current band we were in with more potential and decided to leave the band we were in and form What is now Sunband”.

Some of the genres that the Sunband likes to concentrate on are Jazz Fusion, Funk, and Psychedelic music.

“We are chameleons when it comes to music as we’ve performed and worked with other artists that come from different genres“.

Some of the influences of the band vary from music category and time. “We all have our own individual influences that we bring to the table that you can hear within our playing but as a unit some of our influences are def Herbie Hancock, Yussef Dayes, Butcher Brown, Jimmy Hendrix, The Roots, and Kendrick Lamar. The list literally goes on”.

The Sun Band was given the opportunity to take their talents to the Hourglass Studio and platform where artists from different walks of life go and perform live which gives artists a way to display themselves in a more transparent way. ”Hourglass is one of the dopest things we’ve been a part of. Hourglass is a group of 2 (Tyler Schmidt & Dillon Douglasson) who do these insane music videos for various artists of ANY genre. We were fortunate enough to do a video with them performing an unreleased track called “horse funk” as well as doing a live stream concert with them where we performed songs from our album facelift as well as various covers of some of our favorite jazz songs. We’ve also worked with hourglass with other artists as their live band so we’ve really built a connection with them over the course of the year. They're great guys with endless amounts of potential so we encourage everyone to keep up with hourglass sessions!”

The prolific moment for the band was when they released their project Facelift. The technicality and complexity of this project is so unreal. The recording process alone speaks volumes to the authentic statue of the music group. “Facelift was an interesting project to make. We started making it in the summer of 2018 when we first formed and later that summer we moved into the same house together. We hit a slight pause due to working with other artists as a band but then we picked it back up in the beginning of 2019 and released it that fall. We recorded it half in the house we all lived in and half in the ODU studio as well as self engineered and mixed it. I think that project will always be a special thing to us as it was our very first project together but it was also a learning experience in figuring out how we like to record and create together. There’s always room to improve so Facelift is just the beginning!”

“We are all born and raised VA natives so it will always be home for us! We as individuals and as a band will always represent VA! VA has some of the dopest things going on right now that other states just aren’t doing so we are more than proud to represent VA!”

The project Facelift is still out of most streaming platforms. For any upcoming projects or performances follow the Sunband on instagram @sunband_