TEN-TIME Grammy nominated platinum-selling legendary American jazz band Spyro Gyra attributes its success to good quality writing and good quality playing.
The band, which headlined at the recent Bahrain Jazz Fest 2019, said they “had a wonderful time in Bahrain”.
Speaking about how jazz has evolved through the years, band leader Jay Beckenstein said, “I think the most obvious is that technology has changed, giving musicians a lot of tools but also changed some of the essence of what musicians do.
“We’ve been through 40 years so we’ve seen a lot of technical change but as far as music, in the heart behind the music, it will always be the same.”
Formed in Buffalo, New York in 1974, the band combines jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, and pop music.
“We’re always incorporating new things because we’re interested in not repeating ourselves,” Mr Beckenstein said.
“I would say one of the clearest things we’ve done is we’ve incorporated international sounds from our travels into our music and also we’ve used new technologies that have become available.”
The five-member band consists of Tom Schuman on keyboards, Julio Fernandez on guitar, Scott Ambush on bass, Lionel Cordew on drums and Mr Beckenstein on saxophone.
“There’s a great deal of consistency in the band,” he added.
“Four of us have been together for more than thirty years but we’ve had a number of changes in the in the drum position over time.
“We also lost a very great band member Dave Samuels who used to play mallet instruments with us. He passed away earlier this year.”
The band has released over 30 albums and sold over 10 million copies.
Some of its nominations include Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Rhythm and Blues Instrumental Performance.