The Western Herald and the Young Broadcasters of Tomorrow have teamed up again to produce the collaborative segment that showcases the talents of students at Western Michigan University known as the Western Artist of the Month. This month’s installment features the jazz band Lushh.
Founded in the fall of 2015, Lushh is an all-male Jazz band comprised of five members who are all jazz studies majors in the School of Music. Lushh’s members include Eddie Codrington on saxophone, Madison George on drums, Matt Epperson on bass guitar, Grayson Nye on keyboard and Andrew Saliba on the guitar.
Each member’s musical background is especially unique from one another, but one similar detail that exists among all their musical backgrounds is that they all seemed to have picked up an interest in music at an early age. From as young as three years old to as old as ten, they all developed a liking for different instruments at early ages and eventually established a niche for jazz music.
For over a century, jazz music has been among the most popular musical genres in the United States. Jazz bands have evolved remarkably over time. Lushh’s music reflects the sounds of current Jazz styles.
“There’s a kind of new wave in the jazz world, where bands are blurring the line between electronic music and jazz, rock and pop; we just happen to be at a point where we can take that and work with it,” Codrington said.
The band has several inspirations to pull from when creating original songs or covering songs with their own unique twists.
“A lot of our influences are bands like Hiatus Kaiyote, Kneebody, the Donny McCaslin Quartet and Thundercat or Flying Lotus,” George said.
According to Lushh, something that’s interesting about current jazz music is the endless possibilities that mixing a variety of genres together affords these musicians to create.
“Instead of taking acoustic instruments like you have in a normal jazz setting, we have all of these electronic instruments; there’s just so many more sonic possibilities,” George said.
Lushh’s upcoming single, ‘Speckles of Bronze and Blonde’ is a perfect example of the limitless possibilities to explore when creating original material.
“When we first started working on the single, it was totally different from when we started recording,”Saliba said. “There were so many new textures and layers that got added on; so many sounds that we hadn’t initially played with.”
The band is highly cohesive. They place collaboration at a very high standard and value every member’s input in the creative process. Codrington, the composer of their newest single, always seeks approval and input from the other members of the band when writing original pieces.
“When I’m away from the group writing myself, I try to think of every member’s strength and place different sounds and textures that fit that, so we can sound the best we can,” Codrington said. Cohesiveness in a band is extremely important and it also reflects in their performances, which is never a problem for the men that make up Lushh.
For those wondering what exactly is next for Lushh, there are a handful of upcoming projects and events that the band is looking forward to.
“We will be working collaboratively with our producer, Alex Tobin, on his capstone project for his graduate thesis,” said Saliba. “The single that we’re going to release is going to serve as a fundraiser and awareness promotional piece of material for that.”
The band is also doing more promotion.
“We are starting monthly residency at the Mix, which is right by campus, behind Insomnia Cookies and the Den,” George said.
The first show will be on Saturday, Oct. 15, then every second Saturday after. Lushh will also occasionally perform at Put Up or Shut Up, as well as the Union, which is located in downtown Kalamazoo.
Like many successful bands, their friendships grew after the creation of Lushh, and their comfortability with one another shows through their music. When they perform together, not only is their passion for what they do present, but their flow, even through the improv that is thrown into each song, is impeccable.
“It was really fun for us starting this band, none of us really knew how much we would enjoy this and how much it would pick up; so I think that even after school, no matter where we go, some form of Lushh will continue,” George said.
Be sure to follow Lushh on Facebook for updates on upcoming performances and singles. You can find Lushh on twitter at @Lushhhmusic. For business inquiries, email email@example.com.