Fuzz Band's Duane Smith leads musical experiment in Chesapeake

Duane Smith, trumpet player and musical director of Hampton's Fuzz Band, has emarked on a new, jazzy musical adventure.A live project he's calling VA Experiment coalesce Sunday, May 15,  7:30 p.m.- 10:30 p.m. at 45 Degrees Martini Lounge, 1400 Kempville Road, in Chesapeake.The Duane Smith Quartet -- consisting of Duane Smith on trumpet, Devonne Harris on Fender Rhodes, Andrew Randazzo on acoustic and electric bass and Corey Fonville on drums -- will be joined by special guests. The core group is jazz, but as friends step up to jam with the quartet, the direction will shift to include funk and hip-hop, he said.Some of the invited artists for May 15 include Alan Parker, Roy Brown, Bob Ransom, Jon Bibbs, Matt Echolls, Charles Owens, Sol Son and Chesapeake-based rapper Dereck 320.

"All different VA artists coming together!" read a posting from Smith on Facebook. "The Virginia scene cannot knock down the doors of the music industry with one finger ... We have to do it with a fist!"

This will be the third VA Experiment session. The first one took place in January. Meeting the members of his quartet -- all musicians age 22 or younger --was a turning point, Smith said. "They encouraged me to go back to my jazz roots," he said. "So this is a jam session for professional musicians. These guys actually play jazz ... It's been really nice."

In Fuzz Band news, band manager Paul Saunders says the group members have been working on new solo material at Clay Garden Studio in Norfolk. New music from band members could emerge as early as the fall, Saunders said.



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