It's not every day that a former Christopher Newport University student gets to rock out on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," but today is that day. Jake Hull, a multi-instrumentalist formerly with the band Momentary Prophets, will be part of the group backing the broadcast's musical guest, Jake Clemons.
Tune in starting at 11:35 p.m. on NBC to catch the performance. [Update Jan. 9: Here's the video of last night's show. Clemons' performance comes in at the 36:19 mark]
Hull, a CNU music major who graduated in 2008, was recruited to play in Clemons' band after the two musicians -- both local residents -- intersected in a local recording studio. Hull ended up contributing gutiar to Clemons' EP, "Embracing Light," which was released last month.
Clemons is the nephew of the late Bruce Springsteen sax man Clarence Clemons. Jake Clemons has been touring with Springsteen's E Street Band as part of a horn section that fills in for the legendary Big Man. In between those tours, though, he's been working to get his solo career cranking.
While he spends a lot of time away, Clemons has maintained strong ties to Hampton Roads. He considers Virginia Beach his home base.
"Virginia is always been special," Clemons told me in an interview back in November. "There’s something in the water. It’s a place where creative spirits have been born." He said he's proud of the quality of musicians that have emerged from this corner of the world. "A handful of us have decided to come back or stick around, and hopefully be able to encourage the next generation of amazing talent."
"Embracing Light" was produced by Clemons and Brian Million and was recorded at MSR Studios in New York City, Clay Garden Studios in Norfolk and Soul Haven Studios in Virginia Beach.
Clemons told me that Hull was originally brought in to play sitar on a track. "He just blew my mind," Clemons said. "He’s become one of the most important members of the band."
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