Grand Street Band Bio Page
The self-titled debut album by Grand Street, collectively produced by guitarist Peter Mignola and pianist Matthew Wynne, spans across several genres of music. The musicians in Grand Street have a common foundation in Jazz and through years of performing and recording together have developed a unique improvisational dialogue, as well as an extensive repertoire of original music. The variety of compositions and arrangements on the album--whether they be vocal or instrumental, acid jazz or funk rock fusion, traditional or contemporary jazz, Latin or rhythm & blues--reflect the diverse influences brought to the project by each player. Grand Street's sound and intuitive approach weave a common thread throughout all of the music. Although the album has only been test released on a limited basis, Grand Street has received airplay on over 100 stations nationwide, and has listed top ten by CMJ and been interviewed on many stations like WBAI, WRHU, WFDU, and WUSB.
Grand Street travels between genres effortlessly. While the band gets funky with "Revelstoke"and stretches out with the psychedelic groove of "Play What You Feel," they still display strong ties to the Jazz tradition, as evidenced in "My One And Only Love" and "In The Meantime." The soulful"Whistling In The Dark" and the Latin-influenced "Strongest Love" are just two of the five songs featuring the stunning performances by the steamy yet earthy vocals of Felicia Michael. The band's popularity around the NYC music scene is no accident. For years, jazz enthusiasts have enjoyed their soulfully electrifying shows at such great hot-spots as Metronome, Nell's, The Cooler, Tatou, Le Bar Bat, Windows on the World and Session 73, to name a few. Grand Street was featured at the 1998 JVC Jazz festival in NYC, the 1997 WHRL Aids Benefit in Albany and has been joined on stage by the legendary Michael McDonald (Steely Dan, Doobie Bros.) and Joni Sledge (Sister Sledge). Upcoming shows in the New York area include dates at The Knitting Factory.
Mignola and Wynne co-founded Grand Street in 1987. The band grew out of jam sessions they
used to have in Mignola's loft on Grand Street. The group started doing small gigs on the lower
east side, and as the repertoire expanded, the players of Grand Street became more committed to
rehearsing and performing. The idea of working through a band instead of pursuing a career as an
individual instrumentalist may be a bit unusual in today's jazz world, but it comes naturally for
Mignola and Wynne. "Matt and I started playing jazz in high school," reports Mignola, "but long
before that, we were playing in rock, blues and funk bands together." These are genres in which
the idea of focusing on the band takes priority over individual soloists. And it's this kind of
thinking that Mignola and Wynne brought with them when they made a commitment to jazz.
"Sticking with a set group of people who play together, who write and work through music
together--for me that's a natural approach," says Mignola. While Mignola acknowledges a long
list of influences in several genres, he cites Miles Davis as perhaps the most inspirational "Miles
had an impact not just as a performer or composer but in his attitude toward music in general,"
explains Mignola. "Artists like him and [Charles] Mingus have a very original approach that goes
beyond the music itself--it permeates their lives. For them it wasn't just about songs or gigs. By
living their art, they remained very passionate about their music throughout their entire careers. If
I can be playing this music twenty years from now and still remain as passionate about it as I was
twenty years ago--I'll be very fortunate."
Kyme Music Productions
143 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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