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The Sol Kitchen Presents

Butcher Brown

A Tribute to Fela

Thursday, October 17
Show | 8pm // Doors | 7pm
$22.50 Adv // $25 DOS
18 & over || $5 surcharge under 21 || 20% off dinner at Gin Mill with advance ticket

Butcher Brown is an up-to-the minute throwback to the great progressive jazz bands of
the 60s and 70s. They are a hard-working band in an era where most groups are
fleeting assemblages, together only long enough to record. Their organic coherence
emerges from long collaboration as a group of equals rather than a top-down, leader/
sideman lineup. They are building their audience by any means necessary, combining a
conventional, label-oriented approach with releasing “underground” tapes, disciplined
rehearsal and engaging, adventurous performance.
This musical maturity is surprising in such a youthful band. The players in Butcher
Brown were all born after the mid-70s golden age of fusion. But their modern, hip-hopinflected
funk has rich echoes of Weather Report, Return to Forever, early Earth Wind
and Fire and, perhaps, a pungent whiff of Zappa. Like those bands, Butcher Brown’s
unified sound comes from the intertwined talents of the four members, each bringing
something unique to the mix.
Multi-instrumentalist Devonne Harris is arguably, the visionary of this egalitarian band.
His responsive keyboard work shapes the harmonic colors through which the music
pulses and flows. The son of a DJ, who grew up in in a funk/rock/R&B saturated
environment, he’s had a lifetime fascination with what makes a record work. His deep
understanding is grounded in phenomenal virtuosity. (In addition to playing keys in
Butcher Brown he’s the long-time drummer in John D’earth’s band, Central Virginia’s
premiere straight-ahead jazz group.) Under the name DJ Harrison, he’s created a vast
catalog of hip hop beats. Jellowstone Records, his home studio, is a pivotal focus of the
vital Richmond music scene, with a growing reputation drawing big name visitors
including Nicholas Payton. (who recorded his 2014 record “Numbers” there with the
band.)DJ Harrison has just released his first solo album on Stonethrow, titled:
Harris calls bassist Andrew Randazzo the band’s navigator. “He’s the cool one, the calm
one. He’s the mortar, binding together the rhythmic and harmonic side of the music.
Both onstage and off, he holds everything together and makes everything go smoothly.
And he is an amazing player.” In the band’s funk-inflected music, the foundation is
foreground; the bass as much a lead as a rhythm instrument.
Drummer Corey Fonville is pure explosive energy. “He’s always ready for battle,” Harris
says. “A huge, controlling factor in our sound.” A percussion prodigy turned international
jazz sideman, Fonville’s national performance career when he was just 14, with a 2005
appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. In the years since Fonville’s taken his
propulsive energy around the world, touring with jazz stars like Christian Scott and
Nicholas Payton. He’s the beating heart of Butcher Brown, pumping out fresh,
danceable rhythmic complexities are aimed at both the brain and the hips.
Having started playing music in elementary school, and coming from a family of
musicians, you could almost say that guitarist Morgan Burrs was destined to lead a life
of music.. Picking up the guitar, only 6 years ago, he’s become a force on RVA’s music
scene. While in high school, he was awarded full tuition scholarships to go up to Boston
and study at Berklee College of Music’s 5 week summer program, which played a key
role in Morgan deciding to get a degree in Music. He’s currently a junior at Virginia
Commonwealth University (VCU) studying jazz guitar.