Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Photo Cred: Sandlin Gaither
"Béla Fleck knows a thing or two about establishing an identity in the jazz world while playing an unusual instrument. So it makes sense that the banjo player would bond with a young jazz musician whose speciality is an unusual instrument: steel pannist Jonathan Scales. "I see a kindred spirit in him." Fleck says"
"To say I am impressed would be a gross understatement! Wow, Jonathan!"
"At the end of the day Scales is going to be a major player in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside the box."
-When Steel Talks
"Jonathan Scales brings new vitality to the traditional Caribbean instrument, picking up where Othello Molineaux left off 20 years ago with Jaco Pastorius."
"Jonathan Scales makes the pans fit in unconventional musical spaces.(4 out of 5 stars!)"
• Latest album PILLAR reached #5 on the iTunes Jazz Chart
• Selected by the U.S. Department of State as a cultural ambassador, with tours in Asia and Africa
• Artist Business of the Year award from Minority Enterprise Development Committee in North Carolina
• Selected as a TEDx speaker
• 3x special guest performer at Victor Wooten's prestigious music camps
You’ve heard this before, but the whimsically named Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is really tough to describe. Veering from in-your-face, jaw dropping chops and passion, to those quiet moments when the background noise disappears and you hold your breath to take in a soundscape of solitude, the power trio of electric bass (E'Lon JD), drums (Maison Guidry), and steel pans (Jonathan Scales) combines elements of jazz, classical, and progressive rock, peppered with Latin rhythms and soulful outbursts of funk. From club and festival stages across North America and Europe, and tours of Africa, Southeast and Central Asia as a Cultural Ambassador for the US Department of State, to their NPR Tiny Desk Concert featuring Béla Fleck, the Fourchestra’s live shows make even the most jaded listeners forget where they are… even if just for a precious moment.
This may seem an odd thing to say, but on the verge of releasing their eighth studio recording, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is only now truly embracing their identity as a group. For many years, Jonathan’s live band was a fluid lineup of top-notch musicians, and even included an “all-star” version with bassist MonoNeon (Prince, Nas), drummer Sput Searight (Snarky Puppy, Snoop Dogg) and percussionist Weedie Braimah (Trombone Shorty, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah), as well as a number of other marquee players. Now, however, the Fourchestra is a decidedly indivisible band, and Jonathan is writing for the trio, not just the pans.