HAZMAT MODINE plays the kind of Blues one might have found in a barrelhouse in New Orleans had the city been inhabited by gypsies who performed with Otis Redding and the city had been built on the Black Sea. The band is driven by harmonicas, tuba, drums, guitars, Banjo and a full horn section. Guests play such exotic instruments as the Romanian cimbalom, the banjitar, and the Claviola. Front man Wade Schuman has the appropriately throaty voice of someone who has both hopped freight trains and collaborated with the Throat Singers of Tuva. For the past eight years, the band has been touring in over 40 countries worldwide. They have collaborated/performed with a vast range of artists including Bombino, Kronos Quartet, Cat Empire, the Gangbe Brass band from Benin, and Natalie Merchant. The title track from their first CD BAHAMUT was recently used in the 3D film Pina by Wim Wenders, and currently in a performance by Pina Bausch and the Stuttgart Ballet. Their second CD Cicada was awarded the Charles Cross award in France for best blues album of the Year, and topped number one on the World Music Charts in Europe. There new CD Extra-Deluxe-Supreme is out on Jaro records in Europe and due out this spring in the U.S.
(“Hazmat” is a portmanteau of “hazardous material” and “Modine” is the name of a company that manufactures commercial heaters but may be used to refer to the heater itself.)
HAZMAT MODINE draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20's and 30's through to the 50's and early 60's, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band includes tuba, guitar, and percussion, claviola and Hawaiian steel guitar. The band's sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles.
Wade Schuman - Diatonic Harmonica, Lute Guitar, Guitar, Lead Vocals
Playing the harmonica since the age of ten, Wade is an accomplished master in the early Blues and musical styles of the 1920's and 30's. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan which has long had a vital and interesting musical scene, and currently resides and works in New York City. He draws musical inspiration from among others: Desmond Dekker, Jaybird Coleman, Sidney Bechet, Taraf De Haidouks and Slim Gaillard. Recording credits include Joan Osborn's "Relish" which was nominated for four Grammies.
Joseph Daley - Tuba
Joseph is a native of New York and perhaps this country's most consistent and creative "Lower Brass Specialist". Among others he has played with Sam Rivers, Carla Bley, Taj Mahal, Charlie Haden, Gil Evans, Lionel Hampton, Howard Johnson, Dave Douglas, and Muhal Richard Abrams. He appears on well over a dozen recordings.
Pamela Fleming - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
NYC trumpet player and composer Pam Fleming is the leader of original world jazz group Fearless Dreamer. Pam is best known for her work with Lilith Fair artists Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls; Reggae stars Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Maxi Priest; and Klezmer groups Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos.
Steve Elson - Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Duduk, Flute
As a teenager, saxophonist Steve Elson toured with the legendary Johnny Otis Rhythm and Blues Revue, featuring Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Shuggie Otis and the Three Tons of Joy.He has gone on to play in a wide variety of settings including world tours with David Bowie, film soundtracks for Philip Glass, several hundred pop, jazz, klezmer, R&B and new music recordings. Elson has been a recipient of numerous compostion grants and fellowships from the NEA, NYFA and Mary Cary Flagler. among others. He leads his group Steve Elson's Lips and Fingers Ensemble.
Richard Huntley - Drums, Percussion
Richard Huntley is New York City based percussionist who plays a wide variety of music including Jazz, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, klezmer and other styles. He has recorded and or performed with John Benitez, Luis Bonilla, Cameron Brown, Billy Drewes, Frank London, the Kleztraphobix, Hector Martignon, Mulgrew Miller, Dom Salvador, and Jack Wilkins. He is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and is a visiting instructor at the Fokemusicksolen in Arhus, Denmark. He has a M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music.
Rachelle Garniez - Accordion, Claviola, Vocals
Native New Yorker multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter Rachelle Garniez has been described as a "Diva with a difference" (Billboard Magazine)and a "certified free spirit" (The New Yorker) . Her original story-songs have been described as "romantic, rhapsodic and casually hilarious". (The New York Times). Her songs have been recorded by singers Catherine Russell and Karen Elson, among others. She released a vinyl single produced byJack White, created several collaborative performances with choreographer Keely Garfield, and in 2009 composed the music for Taylor Mac's Obie Award winning performance extravaganza, "The Lily's Revenge". She is a member of the neo-cabaret troupe The Citizens Band, and plays with the Marvin Sewell Group.
Michael Gomez - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Steel Guitar
Originally from Northern California, Michael Gomez has been living in New York City for seventeen years. Apart from HAZMAT modine, he is currently playing with Greta Gertler & The Extroverts, his own band Wormwood and in a side-project with members of Ween. A highly sought-after and versatile guitarist, he has shared the stages of Joe's Pub, CBGB's, Barbes, The Living Room, Tonic, The Knitting Factory and many other venues, with amongst others: The Moonlighters, members of the Mink Lungs, The Bootleg Remedy, Slavic Soul Party!, and Jack Grace. He a long-time student and disciple of Mike Longo, Dizzy Gillespie's pianist/arranger. Michael's fluid technique encompasses a remarkable range of styles and musical vocabulary, from Delta blues to Gypsy swing to Sun Ra. His subtle and unique approach to tone and rhythm, plus the breadth of his influences, make him a key, anchoring component of Hazmat Modine.
Reut Regev - Trombone, Flugabone, Slide Trumpet
Reut Regev was born and raised in Israel. Since arriving at NYC in 1998 Reut has taken part in various musical projects, playing Jazz, Latin music, Improvised and Contemporary Classical, Klezmer, Blues, Rock, and more. She has worked with Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, Frank London Klezmer All-stars, Firewater and Grupo Irek among many others. Her debut recording as a leader, This is R Time, is scheduled to be released Jan 2009 on Ropeadope Records.
Erik Della Penna - Guitar, Banjitar, Vocals
Erik is a songwriter and guitarist living in New York City. He studied western classical music at The Mannes College of Music. After graduation he spent years preforming around the Northeast in ensembles informed by American roots music traditions. Erik then went on to write, record and tour extensively with artists such as Joan Baez, Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne and David Yazbek. Erik has written music for A&E television, The New York Historical Society, as well as dozens of documentary films. His guitar and drum duo, Kill Henry Sugar, is currently in the process of recording their seventh collection of original songs. In addition, Erik is working on two musicals now in development, one in Chicago and one in New York City.
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