BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Ridge High School and William Annin Middle School Jazz Band musicians have been hard at work preparing for the Spring Jazz Band Concert scheduled for Tuesday evening April 18 at the Ridge Performing Arts Center. In addition to the rigorous pieces tackled every year by this talented group of students, they’ve been listening to and learning the original music of the Brooklyn, NY-based Huntertones, who will lead a clinic for the young musicians and join them during the evening concert for a song.
“By bringing in professional artists, our students have the opportunity to work with people who have been through the learning process and are now using their talents in the real world,” commented Dan Zugale, RHS Director of Bands, adding, “I personally enjoy it because I like meeting and working with new artists.” The high-energy, horn-driven Huntertones’ signature sound is a marriage of inspired improvisation and adventurous compositions that meld jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and rock.
Zugale credited his WAMS counterpart, Wyman Wong, who has been working with his jazz students for the joint concert. “Mr. Wong does such a great job preparing the students and hopefully this will inspire them to continue at the high school.”
Huntertones was founded in Columbus, OH, where they met at The Ohio State University. They got their start playing house shows at their Hunter Avenue apartment, which is where the band name also evolved. In addition to covering a wide range of genres, they’re known for their ability to shift from a dynamic six-piece ensemble to an unconventional trio featuring saxophone, sousaphone and beat-boxing. The band is in the midst of a tour that took them to Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt and then on to Spain. In 2016, they took on a month-long tour of North America, South America, and Africa through the American Music Abroad program. They were selected by the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to engage international audiences, students, and artists from around the globe.
Individually, the member of Huntertones have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists in the pop, jazz, soul and musical theater worlds, including work with Jon Batiste and Stay Human (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), O.A.R., Snarky Puppy, Andy Grammer, Ed Sheeran, Allen Stone, Gary Clark Jr., Phillip Phillips, Ricky Martin, Umphrey’s McGee, Red Baraat, and more. For the April 18 concert, the band will consist of Dan White, Chris Ott, Tim Basom, Adam DeAscentis and John Hubbell.
The Jazz Band Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Ridge High School, 268 S. Finley Ave. in Basking Ridge. Ample parking is available. The public is encouraged to attend this special evening of jazz. While there is no charge for the band concerts, donations are always appreciated and help fund future collaborations. Following the student performances, the audience will be treated to a short Huntertones performance, too.