Featuring a collective Q&A from Rose Ganache, Bennu, Eliptek, Auragami,
One of the 1st Music Festivals of 2023 is just around the corner. To get us acquainted with the lineup, we bring you a close-up Q&A of the last on the list, but not the least you should miss. This Year Gem & Jam Festival will be held February 3-5, 2023 in Tuscon, AZ.
- What is the story behind your band name?
The Bennu is an original, Tucson-based psychedelic/jam/rock band with elements of jazz/funk/EDM and captivating female lead vocals. In the fall of 2011, when the band was just forming, Nick happened to be reading a book about ancient civilizations and came across the concept of the Bennu bird, which is the earlier Egyptian correspondence to the iconic phoenix. It seemed appropriate too as Tucson is close to Phoenix. As the description states, “This mythical creature experiences death by fire, followed by a spontaneous rebirth from the ashes.” This served as an early concept that through a live music setting, the band works to create an atmosphere of freedom and musical awakening that expresses a joy for living and the endless transformation of heart, mind, and spirit. In a strange synchronicity, in 2013, the Planetary Society in partnership with the University of Arizona in Tucson, held an international contest to name an asteroid for an upcoming NASA mission and a young boy from North Carolina won, naming the asteroid, “Bennu.” You could say that both the band’s genre and the asteroid can be described as “space rock!”
- What makes you all excited to be part of The Bennu & how has that been part of what inspires your music?
There is no feeling quite like making original and improvisational music with your friends, especially when everyone has been trained at the university level in jazz and classical music. We maintain the attitude that there’s really no musical genre that is strictly off limits. This freedom allows the band to explore a wide range of influences and combine them to create an experience that is always fresh and evolving.
- What helps you each manage a busy and wild schedule?
All of the band members have careers outside of playing in The Bennu. This sometimes makes it difficult to consistently find time to get together. However, because each of us plays our instruments every day, we are always warmed up and able to hit the ground running for rehearsals and shows.
Describe the vibe of your set, but as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. What can be expected?
I feel like my music has more dinner vibes in it but since my set is probably earlier in the day it will be more of a dinner for breakfast type of deal. Think pizza for breakfast. More new material and live edits of released songs can be expected as well as a remix or two thrown in my set to spice things up.
Where is the current point of gravity in your mix?
The point of gravity in my mixes at the moment is trying out different mixing styles and techniques. I am still new to playing shows in general because I have mainly focused on producing up until the past year. I prefer to play only my own material, but what I prepare to do now can completely change a month from now.
Best part about your position on a lineup like Gem & Jam festival?
This is my first festival set, so I am just grateful to be a part of it! I have been meaning to head out to Gem and Jam for a while now as an attendee and this is a golden opportunity to do so. To finish answering the question though, I think what I like about my position is that since I am one of the smaller acts, it gives people the opportunity to randomly stumble upon my set while I’m playing. Some of my most favorite experiences at festivals have been just coming across a random artist playing at some stage and becoming a new fan!
What are you looking forward to in 2023?
Playing Gem and Jam is certainly on the list of things I am excited for. In 2023, I am hoping to play in more cities outside of Colorado and to improve on what I can do in the live setting. New music will always be in the works too, so my fans can expect more of that!
1. Can you give us a little insight into your Gem & Jam Festival Set & How you are preparing for it?
Well we just released our debut album House of Love in July of 2022 so expect a few songs from that along with a couple choice covers thrown in the mix.
What about being last, but not least on the lineup, excites your crew for Gem & Jam?
Wherever we are in the lineup, we feel so blessed to be involved with a long standing, iconic sub culture festival on the West Coast! We are excited to make some new friends, network and hopefully walk off stage knowing we connected with the crowd in the most positive way.
What can you tell us about your projects, festivals, shows & projection of Auragami for 2023?
2023 is looking good for us especially because we get to kick it off with Gem & Jam! We will be working on some new material before we hit our busy season between April and October and hopefully release some new music in the fall! As far as touring, we are hoping to expand our circle out of the Southeast and into some new markets in 2023.
GEM & JAM Festival Website: https://gemandjamfestival.com/