Tonight at 8pm, The Chronos Band will be sharing the Halifax Jazz Festival Tent stage with The John Scofield Uberjam Band! Winners of last year's festival’s Galaxie Rising Star Award, The Chronos Band just released their first album—Boots the Cat—which they recorded in “The Shed” in Shad Bay over two rainy nights last Halloween. Bass player Rheo Rochon envisioned the powerful energy of The Chronos Band before it was even formed, as he composed pieces that could only reach their full potential with a nine-piece band. Check out Rochon’s responses to our Q&A.
How did all of you come together to collaborate?RR: The band blossomed from a trio that was playing Latin jazz around Halifax the past few years. When I started composing for the band, it became clear a trio wouldn't match the sound I was hearing, so we added players one by one until eventually you've got this nine-piece band, which doesn't really play Latin jazz at all.
How would you describe The Chronos Band's musical style?RR: The best description I've heard of our sound came from a friend of mine who called it "Instrumental Afro-Soul". The music draws on a mixture of influences, including Fela Kuti, early Santana, James Brown & The Budos Band, but we write and play all our own tunes.
What are the range of instruments played by you and the other eight musicians?RR: The heart of the band is our three-piece percussion section including trap set, congas and timbales. Then you've got guitar, keys and bass doing their thing too, and our three-piece horn section of trumpet, sax & trombone is definitely the sugary ribbon that ties it all together.
What will audience members experience at your show tonight?RR: Our audience can expect a set with good energy, a high quality of musicianship and group communication, but always with a strong groove to make the people move and feel good. Really it's just party music.
Which acts do you want to catch at this year's Halifax Jazz Fest?RR: Cyndi Cain's album release at The Marquee July 13th is gonna be a bumpin' show. I'll be on the road again with my other band so I'll have to miss it unfortunately, but if you can get there, DO IT!