Evan, Adam and I went to college together at Lawrence University, along with 4th founding member Greg Woodsbie who has subsequently moved to Boston to start a family. The original idea behind the group was first pitched to me by Adam as he leaned over from the edge of the Dakota Jazz club stage; it was something to the effect of: “hey man – we should get together with Evan and Greg and play some weird shit.” And with the instrumentation of trumpet/accordion/guitar/cello we thought that ‘weirdness’ would be at the forefront of our sound, but our musical tastes/styles blended in such a way to dissolve much of the strangeness and produce a very uniquely natural ensemble. Primary influences include Dave Douglas and Tin Hat.
Adam Meckler (trumpet) is our charming front man, primary composer and a really busy musician. As I type this he’s on his way to Cabo, Mexico to make his international debut with Todd Clouser‘s A Love Electric. Adam’s just a stone’s throw away from receiving his Masters degree in tpt. performance from the U of Minnesota and besides honing his technique as a trumpet scientist he’s also developing his skills as a superbly creative improviser. And he’s one of the best dudes around.
Evan Montgomery (guitar) is fantastic, and with every new group I join/organize I have him in mind. He has a knack of creating out-of-the-way accompaniments that perfectly serve the music and every time I listen to a recording he’s on I’m taken aback at just how much he’s supporting the group sound. We’re also in a hip hop band, OFI, so check out that page too.
Steven Hobert (accordion) is an incredibly intuitive and musical player, and understands harmonic language on a level that I had not experienced firsthand before playing with him. Like our previous accordionists he’s an accomplished pianist who has picked up accordion within the last few years, but he has the edge of being a fantastic wind player as well (clarinet/saxophone). This is manifested in his sensitive phrasing and dynamics as he thoughtfully pushes and draws the bellows. Choice.
Cory Grossman (cello) is me. This band is what I dreamed about since before, and especially during college when I was totally swamped with studying classical music/technique. I got a lot out of that experience as Lawrence University has a wonderful program, but I’ve always craved the freedom of expression/experimentation one has with improvised music.
Visit our band website at <lulusplayground.com>