Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
JONATHAN SCALES FOURCHESTRA explodes onto stages with an indescribable sound that is as much felt as it is heard: “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity.”
Weaving together group and individual influences without compromise, the collective of JONATHAN SCALES FOURCHESTRA are as much themselves as they are a unit—a crucial trait of landmark instrumental ensembles. At center stage, steel pannist and founder Jonathan Scales’ compositional skill mixes with tasteful, avant-garde improvisations to form an unmistakably unique approach to an instrument often associated with cruise ships and tropical music. Driftwood Magazine says: “Scales is to steel pans ….what Béla Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator.”
JONATHAN SCALES FOURCHESTRA’s self-titled 2013 debut album featured guest collaborators Victor Wooten and Howard Levy of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and is fully orchestrated with horns and strings.
In 2014, the Fourchestra released Mixtape Symphony, a dense, half-hour long-form album inspired by and dedicated to Roy “Futureman” Wooten, which peaked at #6 on the iTunes Jazz charts. Wooten and other Flecktones members occasionally perform with the Fourchestra, bringing the relationship full-circle.
With a successful European tour in the Fall of 2015 under their belts and the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival confirmed for 2016, fans, critics and promoters alike anticipate the Fourchestra’s arrival on big North American festival stages in the near future. In the meantime, Scales and his band continue to tour the North American club circuit, building an audience one awed, mouth agape fan at a time…
On The Web:
Music To Check Out:
from Mixtape Symphony (2014):
from Think/Do (working title for unreleased upcoming album):
"He still reminds us of Monk. He is still smashing the accepted and expected norms of the steelpan instrument. Moreover he is still challenging the musical borders but now many, many more people know who Fourchestra are and are clear what’s going on... Impeccable musicianship and storytelling operating on whiz kids level... "
"an astounding jazz/funk trio that is worthy of the rare modern tag of being 'innovative.' ”
"Musically amazing stuff indeed..."
"a new vitality to the traditional Caribbean instrument… picking up where Othello Molineaux left off 20 years ago with Jaco Pastorius."
"At the end of the day, Scales is going to be a major play in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside of the box."