KOOL & THE GANG
Selling over 70 million albums worldwide, Kool & the Gang has influenced the music of three generations. Thanks to songs like Celebration, Cherish, Summer Madness, and Open Sesame, Kool & the Gang has earned two Grammy® Awards, seven American Music Awards, and amassed 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums. They have performed continuously longer than any R&B group in history.
Kool & the Gang’s bulletproof funk and jazzy arrangements have also made them the most sampled band of all time. With the explosion of hip-hop in the ’90s, Kool & the Gang’s incredible catalog of grooves has made them DJ favorites, and they are second only to R&B icon James Brown as sources of rap-music samples.
Their music has been created by the same core players for over four decades: Robert “Kool” Bell, his brother Ronald Khalis Bell, and their longtime friends Dennis “DT” Thomas and George “Funky” Brown. Other band members include Clifford Adams, Lavelle Evans, Larry Gittens, Timothy Horton, Shawn McQuiller, Michael Ray, and Curtis “Fitz” Williams.
Up-and-coming blues-hop and soul singer ZZ Ward, whom NPR recently declared “is going to be a star,” and whose vocal prowess Rolling Stone has praised as being “chill-inducing,” has been gradually working her way into the music scene since she began performing for her father’s blues band at age 13.
The reaction to ZZ’s unique blend of swampy blues and hip hop beats has been palpable from both critics and fans alike. ZZ has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
WEAVING THE FATE
Columbia, SC’s Weaving The Fate combines different styles and energies to produce an electrifying mix of musical virtuosity and passionate performance. Weaving the Fate distills elements of metal, soul, jazz, reggae, hip hop, and even gospel into a hypnotic hybrid. Nodding to the revolutionary spirit of Prince, Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against The Machine, and Fishbone, Weaving The Fate approach music fearlessly and without boundaries.
Lead singer and guitarist Brian Conner, bassist Bobby Dredd, DJ Able One, and drummer Jeremy “Finesse” Roberson have developed a passionate regional fan base whose loyalty and devotion to the band’s music and live performances is second to none.