Marcus Rezak is a recording artist, touring musician, session guitarist, and music theorist. Marcus released his debut album on Nov. 9th 2018 entitled, "Gateway To The Galaxy" ft. Bill Evans (sax, Miles Davis), Arthur Barrow (bass, Frank Zappa), Kris Myers (drums) and Joel Cummins (keys) (Umphreys McGee)..
As a lead guitarist, Marcus carves out a distinguished style in the world of Guitar with several well-known cutting edge groups including Katharsis, Shred is Dead, FrankenZaps Monster, Digital Tape Machine, Stratosphere All-Stars, and as artist at large. He has performed at some of the most elite music festivals across the globe in various genres. Known as a master of jazz improvisation and the art of the sit-in, Marcus is a frequent call among bands and musicians carving out his unique niche in the performance world. Having a commanding stage presence, Marcus takes the euphoric freedom of live music and directs its path into a unique approach, as if every jam is a live recording session. By keeping exceptionally comprehensive mental notes on what works, what doesn't, and how to improve is what has led Marcus to respect in the music world and to such integral heights.
In 2008, The Hue, Marcus' original progressive rock band from Chicago, IL released two albums entitled, "Unscene" and "Beyond Words" and peaked at a performance with the Aristocrats at Martyrs in Chicago. In 2011, Digital Tape Machine, which featured Joel Cummins and Kris Myers of Umphreys McGee released 2 albums entitled, "Be Here Now" and "Face Behind The Face". The group rose to new heights playing such music festivals including Electric Forest, Summer Camp, North Coast, All Good, Somerset, and more. In 2014, The Stratosphere All-Stars began keeping Marcus busier than before with rotating members within the jam-rock scene including Steve Molitz (Particle / Phil Lesh and Friends), Michael Greenfield (Lotus), David Murphy ( STS9 ), Todd Stoops (RAQ), Hayley Jane, and many more. Having performed at late night set at the Catskill Chill Music Festival and Brooklyn Comes Alive in New York, tours across the Eastern seaboard, they quickly gained attention across the nation.
Marcus is working on a Colorado based project called Katharsis which features Dave Watts ( The Motet), Todd Stoops (RAQ, Electric Beethoven), and Charles Jones (Dopapod) performing funk-rooted psychedelic jams and improvisation. The band just released an album including the title track " Diabolical " now available for streaming, in addition to tours and performances across the country.
As a session guitarist and live performer Marcus has collaborated with a vast array of musicians from members of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Umphreys Mcgee, Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals, The Motet, Dopapod, Primus, Ratdog, The Disco Biscuits, SCI, Lotus, STS9, Lettuce, Garaj Mahal, Robert Walters 20th Congress, Circles Around The Sun, The Aristocrats, Steve Vai, Megadeth, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and many more. In addition to live performances, Marcus focuses heavily on remote and live studio guitar tracking, editing, and mixing sessions working with a variety of artists, composers, and producers such as David Bowies pianist of 20 years Mr. Mike Garson.
As a guitar instructor, he built his own freelance clientele, teaching primarily Jazz students, but also having no limitations to this as well. Marcus Rezak has a B.M. from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a M.M. degree in Jazz Composition from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.
"The story of Marcus Rezak is not one for those who don’t believe in fated occurrences or natural affinity. It is not for those who don’t believe that passion should forcefully direct the flow of one’s life. It is, however, a tale for seekers ready to leave misgivings at the door and allow music’s sway to settle in their minds like a rich fog. In music, we find truth. Within music’s truth, we find the sounds of Marcus Rezak."
Marcus Rezak is one of the most compelling and gifted guitarist / composers to come along in a long time. He is one of the new generation of musicians who I feel will be one of the pioneers in innovative music. He has the ability to connect the dots and take it to the next level. His playing reminds me of a cross between John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix and Jake Cinninger!! Marcus Rezak is here to stay.”
"I’ve had the pleasure of working on many different projects with Marcus. This one truly shows his highest powers as a versatile, world class musician. Way to hit out of the park and into the galaxy Marcus Rezak!!”
"Marcus kills it, shreds it, and has it for breakfast with a side of nails."
“These compositions were pretty challenging!” … it’s a pretty progressive album, and each song is really different. Each track kind of has its own vibe to it. It was just a lot of fun to get in there and have the freedom to create.That’s something I loved about working with Marcus. He just said to me, ‘I want you to get in there and do your thing. Use whatever tones you want, and let’s see what happens.’ Everyone who has heard Marcus play knows that he’s this badass, versatile guitarist. But I hope people really get to hear (through this record) that he’s a great composer as well. This album really showcases his songwriting as well as his playing, so I was really happy that I could contribute and help get that side of him out to the world.”
Barika is a 6 piece funky, dubbed out, psychedelic West African flavored band from Burlington, Vermont. The group is led by Craig Myers who, in addition to leading Barika on the N'Goni, is also a current member of Mike Gordon's band, and was one of the original founding members of Rubblebucket. He has performed alongside many artists and bands including Midnight, Toubab Krewe, Djeneba Seck, and John Brown's Body.
JUPTR is a five-piece Neo-soul outfit that captures the essence and sound of the music that has influenced each member since the beginning of their musical relationships with one another. Forming in 2017, JUPTR is made up of a conglomerate of Burlington musicians from Smooth Antics, Madaila, smalltalker, and The Renegade Groove who deliver hip hop and R&B inspired instrumentals with a focus on creating a comfortable soundscape for harmony rich vocal arrangements to weave through.
Higher Education crafts a unique blend of psychedelic soaked reggae with raw, riotous rock n roll. This equation has rapidly taken them from local favorites in the DMV to playing nationally renowned venues and festivals. The musicianship and versatility of the band has allowed them to provide direct support to roots reggae legends The Wailers, to funk legends George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, to jam scene veterans Lettuce, all the way to winning over EDM crowds playing alongside Beats Antique among many others. Their ever-evolving palate offers something on the menu for all music fans.
Hailing from College Park, MD they quickly took the DMV by storm before moving on to relentless touring. Weaving in and out of genres and cities, Higher Education is now poised to spread their sound further than ever before with their fourth independent record “Gift Called Life” reaching #4 on the ITunes charts as well as receiving coverage in Relix Magazine and a feature on Sugarshack Sessions. With a 5th full-length album set for release in early Fall 2019 along with an extensive tour Higher Education intends to continue raising the bar.
Swimmer is an experimental rock-fusion quintet based out of Burlington, VT. Their music transcends convention by fusing the band's roots in rock, funk, jazz and electronica to create a unique and powerful sound. Conceived in 2014 at New Hampshire's Plymouth State University, Swimmer has since cultivated an intimate fanbase through captivating composition and distinct live performances. Their high-energy performances feature an emphasis on improvisation and spontaneity.
To quote a fan, "Their trancey soundscapes are beautifully contrasted by their knack for progressive twists and turns, as well as undeniably deep grooves."
ABOUT THE BAND
In late 2016 Brooklyn-based guitarist and songwriter Jeremy Hilliard began performing and touring under the name PEAK. In 2018, he released the now critically acclaimed debut album Electric Bouquet, produced by Dave Brandwein (Turkuaz). In 2019 the band took on a life of its own as one by one some of the best musicians in the improv rock scene joined the group including Kito Bovenschulte (Particle) on drums, Josh T. Carter (Hayley Jane and The Primates) on bass, and newcomer extraordinaire Johnny Young on keys. The group's music, described as Psychedelic Indie Funk, is a mix of poetic, melodic songwriting, moody electrofunk, riffed-out blues-rock, and exploratory danceable improvisations. Some of their many influences include artists such as The Band, The Talking Heads, Phish, The Grateful Dead, Radiohead, James Brown, and Miles Davis, as well as modern songwriters such as Conor Oberst, Mac Demarco, Kurt Vile, and Jack White to name a few.
Jeremy is no newcomer to the scene. He established his songwriting voice as a bandleader and lead guitarist for the band Turbine, with whom he made 4 studio albums and toured nationally for many years, including regular appearances on the some of the country’s biggest stages such as Bonnaroo Music Festival, Telluride Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Moedown, and many others. As a songwriter, he is a lyric-based storyteller and with a wide palette of moods. As a guitarist, he lists as early inspirations BB King and Jimi Hendrix, and using that as a jumping-off point he utilizes jazz concepts to tell longer, more complex sonic stories. Jeremy found his perfect complement in the multitalented keyboardist Johnny Young. Johnny is an established presence on the New York music scene and is highly regarded as a soloist, singer, songwriter, producer, and composer. Friends for many years, Jeremy and Johnny finally got the chance to work together in 2018 when they began writing songs together in earnest. His soulful voice, virtuosity on the keyboards, understanding of harmony, and natural chemistry with Jeremy have taken the band to new heights. All of which is made even more remarkable by the fact that he has been blind since the age of 17. North Jersey drummer Kito Bovenschulte is the heartbeat of the band. Kito began his career in the Tri-State area playing with the regional and experimental rock band, Fikus. As of 2016 he has taken on the role of drummer for Jamtronica pioneers Particle with whom he performed on a national and international level, playing at some of the country’s most notorious venues and music festivals. The newest member of the group is bassist Josh T. Carter (Haley Jane and The Primates, Sundub) who holds the band together with thunderous precision and an impeccable ear. With the addition of Josh on bass, the band found the sound that they had been looking for and begin work on their sophomore album, to be recorded in 2020.
The New Motif is An eclectic jam/funk band, infusing deep psychedelic grooves with improvisational techniques. The ambitiously crafted keyboard mastery, expressive saxophone and immaculate guitar shredding meld into a dynamic fusion. Their intricate funky bass and drums render addictive grooves binding band and crowd creating the “reciprocal boogie.” Live performances of their extensive original repertoire spawn multifaceted jams and memorable moments.
U.N.I.T.Y. is a band from Wilmington, NC. This is a four piece band whose members include; Daniel “Showtime” Barrett (Singer/Songwriter), Harkeem “Hollywood” Brantley (Pianist), Tyleek “Beast” Bazil (Drummer), and Joey “Guru” Lamb (Bassist). The distinctive sound of the group is known to captivate all of their listeners with their powerful message of positivity and love. Their incredible sound is a mixture of R&B, Rock, Pop, and Soul. They are also influenced by many legendary artists such as: the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, James Brown “The Godfather of Soul”, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley, and the phenomenal Beyonce’ herself.
Brickdrop is high impact blast of up-tempo dance, funk, jazz, r&b with a rock attitude. The music weaves between moments of intricate syncopated melodies, and free flowing fusion grooves reminiscent of the 70's Herbie Hancock era. It is an equal blend of intentional design and spontaneous artistic creation. Whether you like to party, or listen the music is sure to hit you like a brick.
A small band with a curiously large sound, Emma Cook & Questionable Company formed in 2013 out of the thriving Burlington, Vermont music scene. Three friends combined their nuanced styles to form this funk-folk trio that delivers a gritty, honest and soulful performance.
Lead vocalist Emma Cook has been described as “a formidable songwriter and instrumentalist” and compared to vocal powerhouses Sara Barielles, Amy Winehouse, and Susan Tedeschi; and you can expect Questionable Company to hit the pocket with "undulating funk grooves" [Seven Days VT].
They are music to soothe the soul. They are that familiar feeling. They remind you, stay questionable.
On The Sun crafts sleek and modern groove music steeped in classic and contemporary soul, funk, Americana, jazz, and psychedelia. This simmering soul juggernaut recently completed the first of several national tours it has planned for 2018 in support of their new album "Gratuity Not Included". The recent trek found the band playing alongside artists such as Lisa Loeb, Robert Randolph, Michael Franti and many more onboard the 4-day floating music festival cruise Sail Across The Sun. They also played a string of intimate Sofar Sounds shows in the midwest and east coast and made some special appearances in Austin, Texas at SXSW and Red Gorilla Music Festival.
Gratuity Not Included is an artistic milestone for the band, as it represents the best capture yet of the span of On The Sun’s artistic continuum, showcasing its always-shifting expanded lineups with added horns, synthesizers, and lush female guest vocalists. It also represents a new era of assured artistry after a period of tireless touring and soul searching. The self-produced seven-track collection, favors full band live on-the-floor takes as the core foundation to construct songs, and then reimagines these recordings with soulful and tasteful experimental studio wizardry.
Select standouts from the album include “Amen,” “Don’t Give Back,” and “Imagining You.” The fractured minimalist funk of “Amen” sprung to life from a loose-limbed jam that with sleek production touches veers into lush, gospel-tinged modern R&B while “Don’t Give Back” conjures the steamy emotionality of 70’s soul but with a modern, sleepy–eyed behind-the-beat groove. The horn and organ driven soul jam, “Imaging You,” evokes late-period Motown Stevie Wonder, playfully contrasting uplifting musicality with lovelorn lyrics. When listening to it you may find yourself euphorically dancing around the room singing along to lyrics of masochistic heartbreak.
Up next, On The Sun will issue a vinyl version of Gratuity Not Included, a collection of live tracks from recent tours, and another as-yet untitled collection of new music in 2019. A New Year’s Eve show at the Bisbee Royale Theater in AZ will kick off their first ever west coast tour in January of 2019, and an extensive tour is in the works for March.
When Ezra Oklan (Nicole Atkins, Ambulance Ltd, Dwight & Nicole) began writing songs almost a decade ago, he simply felt a calling to pay homage to the lost art of eighties synth-pop; shining a light on an era of music that he, and many others, had built careers upon, yet had fallen by the wayside in an age of electronic ease.
Over the years, as Oklan tried to pinpoint the location of the intersection where desire meets demand, the faint whisper inside of him that sounds reminiscent of Springsteen accented with pangs of Morrissey slowly gained voice enough to reach the point of persuasion. It was at that point that Matthew Mercury was born. As new members with storied pasts of their own -- the likes of Steve Hadeka, Christopher Hawthorne, Jeremy Mendicino and Dan Bishop -- joined arms with Ezra, the sound quickly evolved with inspiration borrowed everywhere from Bowie to the Pixies, Joy Division to Television, and Interpol to the Strokes with a little bit of Pulp.
Matthew Mercury thrives on the pulse of the crowd, incubating energy and sending it back into the world via musical expressions fit to fill the soul. The Matthew Mercury experience is more than just a show. It’s a cathartic experiment in group participation curating an ecosystem of human vibrations and it personifies the feeling of real retro, done right. With this ever-changing world in which we live, you may not remember all the things that you have done, but you will always remember that Matthew Mercury loves you.
Ivamae is a singer-songwriter based in the queen city of Burlington, Vermont. Self-described as ambient indie-soul, ivamae pulls together her diverse musical interests to shape a sound that's uniquely her own.
With influences of classic country, folk, and pop through her childhood, ivamae later found an obsession with Soul, R&B, and Hip-hop through her radio show "Baby Makin' Music" on her local college radio station. Her growth and curiousity into more experimental sounds has led her create lush atmospheres at her live performances.
Almost entirely self-taught, ivamae is not afraid of the heaviness that comes with life and love and uses her music to convey a raw vulnerability. With smoldering vocals, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wiping tears from your cheeks and at the same time grooving to the soulful rhythms that ground her songs.
She is currently recording her first full-length album, to be released when she damn well pleases. But expect a couple singles and some buzz before 2018 is through.
J Bengoy is bummer-rock that makes you smile. It’s groove-pop that breaks its own ankles. It’s surf-jangle breaking an arm on a medium sized, impressing-nobody kind of wave. It’s heartfelt emo with a shit-eating grin on its face. J Bengoy is a lot of things. They know that you are, too.
"She has a beautiful, psychedelic-feeling voice that meanders all over the place, and what I love about her music is how ultra-feminine it is. Phantom Vanity really embodies divine feminine and mysticism for me here in the desperate days of 2017. Like, I think we’ll all feel better after we go see her sing? Let’s go see her sing," - Victoria Karol of Hot Trash Portland
PHANTOM VANITY is an electrifying band creating waves in the NYC music scene. Inspired by funk, folk, and soul, this brand new sound is about bringing truth, love, and inspiration through music. The group’s debut EP Vintage Slacker was released last year and is composed of 7 tracks that speak to the trials and growth that humans endure on this small planet. "I am singing about how we travel through all these self-inflicted barriers that make us afraid, lonely, and spiteful. How we mature and become comfortable and fair to ourselves, how we learn to love ourselves and love others," says venerable frontwoman BOYD. "I hope to sing songs that are empowering.”
Based out of Providence, Rhode Island, Good Trees River Band is a five piece psychedelic rock band, blending a wide-range of influences into their sound. Originally from the South Shore of Boston, now based out of Providence, Rhode Island, GTRB is a 5 piece jam/psych-rock group featuring Gavin Gebhardt - Vocals/Percussion Evan Valentine on Drums/Vocals, Brendan Mitchell on Guitar
Sam Attridge on Guitar/Vocals and Ned Brady on Bass.
smalltalker is a group made up of friends, and those friends’ friends. With headcount in the double digits they fill up both stage and studio, and with well crafted tunes formed by unending vision and revision they occupy every space they are in with waves of ear-pleasing, head-nodding sound.
the Dead Shakers are a psych rock Trio from Vermont led by Kevin Bloom. Their debut album All Circles Vanish was released on July 27 2018. The album is a collaboration with members of State Radio, Maybird, Nicole Atkins, Dwight & Nicole, Gnomedad, Madaila, Wren Kitz, Ouzkxqln, Iva Mae.
“All Circles Vanish took me three years to write, and seven studios in three states to record. It’s me on tape. It’s the people I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with. It’s a ghost story and my childhood.”
ALL CIRCLES VANISH
The Renegade Groove is a 4 piece funk-rock group that hails from Burlington, Vermont. Powerful and groovy funk is the basis of the band, reminiscent of Parliament Funkadelic, or Prince, with a shreddage factor of 100. Tightly arranged song sections open up to large improvisational sections, where the boys can show their individual chops (see: shreddage factor of 100).
The Renegade Groove calls Nectar's stage their home base in Burlington VT, having played a variety of shows there including a Mardi Gras celebration, a Prince-themed after party, a New Years Eve alien invasion disco party, and their '90s throwback show, Jock Jams 2K17. The Renegade Groove has offered support to local sensation Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul band in their sold out show at the Higher Ground ballroom in November 2016. The boys have also shared the stage with such acts as Wild Adriatic, West End Blend, Rumblecat, smalltalker, After Funk, and many others.