(Published in Jackson Hole Weekly, additional content added)
The Voice star resumes Orbit
Mainstream exposure has touched seven-piece soul/R&B/jazz-funk septet The Orbit Group since making its annual stop at the Mangy Moose last year. Douglas, Wyoming-native and Casper College graduate, Aquile—the band’s lead vocalist—scored a spot on the summer season of The Voice, where he earned honors to be a member of Christina Aguilera’s “team.” In a recent interview with KISS 104.7 FM in Casper, Aquile spoke openly about being the only African-American in Douglas where he sang in church choir before moving to the “big city” of Casper on a full ride music/theater scholarship. The Orbit Group is an interesting collective of schooled jazz musicians that once reminded me of The Roots blended with the patient R&B of Kool & The Gang. The sound has certainly morphed since their last visit. Check it … The Orbit Group, 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village. Admission is $7. MangyMoose.com.
The gospel according to Harlem
In a year that put them on Good Morning America (twice), a performance for President Obama and the First Lady, and tours across Japan and Canada, the eleven-member Harlem Gospel Choir is spreading the gospel word with a major presence. Though boasting sixty-five overall musicians ranging in age from seventeen to seventy, the trimmed version of the traveling band typically features three sopranos, two contraltos and four tenors backed by keyboards and drums. Harlem Gospel Choir, 8 p.m., Saturday, at the Center Theater. Tickets are $45 for reserved seating. JHCenterForTheArts.org, 733-4900.
Modern irie sprouts from Tribal Seeds
The Cali-styled roots-rock-reggae of Tribal Seeds’ last two releases each landed in the Top five slots of the Billboard Reggae Chart. This is not your under-produced artists of yesteryear, but rather a booming rhythm section with all the production aesthetics of modern reggae in place. Massachusetts solo dub looping specialist, Stick Figure (a.k.a. Scott Woodruff), opens the show. Tribal Seeds and Stick Figure, 9 p.m., Saturday at the Pink Garter Theatre. Tickets are $17 at The Rose, Pinky G’s and PinkGarterTheatre.com.