“…we try to lift every song, whether rock, pop, or jazz originated, to the level that a jazz standard or a classic song would be treated with. In other words, a Beyoncé tune gets the same treatment as Basie or Brahms; as long as the song touches the audience, we’re playing it with the same energy.” —Allen C. Paul, pianist, UnClazZified
UnClazZified is a hard-working, groove-based, Miami jazz-soul trio on the brink of hitting it big, with a major recording on the way. They’ve cruised area hot spots as regulars of Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge, Kork, Wine & Cheese, and Cocowalk. They’ve risen to #11 on ReverbNation’s jazz charts for Miami.
Their music can’t be pigeon-holed as any one thing, either. Keyboardist Allen C. Paul, bassist Gerald Kebreau, and drummer Jason Kent like to keep audiences guessing, able to go from pop and rock, to soul and jazz in a flash — all with an insatiable groove that’s getting plenty of notice.
Their upcoming appearance on Carlos Garcia’s Sound Theory Live, South Florida radio show will only help their chances of breaking worldwide. An accountant by day, Garcia uses his free nighttime to give local bands a broader venue through his virtual stage on WDNA-88.9 FM public radio every Friday night 7 p.m.-8 p.m., as well as his real, multi-arts Stage (with co-owner Sasha Torres) in the Miami Design District, opened since January 2011.
Breaking it down, UnClazZified is the brainchild of pianist Paul and bassist Kebreau. The church music director and the bassist from the internationally recognized Haitian Kompa band, T-Vice, found musical kinship — striving to put fresh twists on timeless instrumental soundtracks — during a South Miami jam session back in 2010. The duo began to make some waves before drummer Kent came on in October 2012 to complete the sound.
The trio’s set list reflects a then and now sensibility, playing “instrumental music that is at the same time timeless and relevant to any musical ear,” while blending “jazz, soul, pop, and many other influences into a seamless whole that is both totally recognizable, yet totally new.” Audiences will hear strains of Anita Baker, John Mayer, Sting, and more surprises in their music.
“Regarding our music, the best description we’ve come up with is ‘soulfully sophisticated pop music,’” said Paul, also a songwriter and arranger who is classically trained. “We say that because it’s not smooth jazz, and not pop by itself, but we try to lift every song, whether rock, pop, or jazz originated, to the level that a jazz standard or a classic song would be treated with. In other words, a Beyoncé tune gets the same treatment as Basie or Brahms; as long as the song touches the audience, we’re playing it with the same energy.”
UnClazZified’s scheduled to perform live on the Stage for the Friday, March 15th Sound Theory Live radio broadcast and web streaming. Host Carlos Garcia, voted “Best FM Radio Personality-2010” by Miami New Times, will also interview the band about their origins and music.
The band leader, Allen Paul, knows how important this particular gig is. “It’s really a major step for us, especially in reaching more people with our music. Carlos Garcia is a local music legend, and being interviewed by him feels like a sign that we’re now accepted as a part of the Miami live music scene. We have lots of musician friends that have already been on the show, and it’s cool to now be able to say we’ve played in the same place and talked to the same people.”
The diverse list of local and touring bands featured on Garcia’s show is long and distinguished: Afrobeta, ArtOfficial, the Big Bounce Collective, Conjunto Progreso, Ed Calle, Fusik, Jacob Jeffries, Jahfe, Ketchy Shuby, King Bee, Locos por Juana, Mayday, Nil Lara, Radioboxer, the State Of, the Spam Allstars, Suenalo, and now, UnClazZified.