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The John Payton Project / Bio

“The John Payton Project” is both a fitting and somewhat misleading name for the quintet of veteran Rochester and Buffalo area musicians that make it up. It fits because the JPP is a project in the truest sense of the word. It is a dynamic group, always in motion, songs continually growing. A tune may not sound the same between one show and the next, whether it be an added instrumental interlude, or part of a cover injected into an original. The band debuted in Rochester as a live act, and their finely crafted songs work best in concert, speaking their wide array of influences from one to the next. To hear one JPP song is not enough to fully appreciate the band’s scope. It is this scope that makes “The John Payton Project” somewhat of a misleading title for the band. Though guided by its leader’s drive and rhythm, the JPP is an ensemble, sharing songwriting and lead vocals, and each member’s contribution to the band’s sound is palpable. Made up of former members of such groups as The Buddhahood, Mysterious Blues Band, Riff Monsters, Yolk, 3rd Rail, Blue Axis, The Electras, Great Train Robbery and Outer Circle Orchestra, the band has deep roots in a wide spectrum of sounds. Flavors of funk, reggae, ska, new-wave, soul, rock, and more coalesce in their sets, and one of its greatest strengths is the dance of its many styles. At a JPP show the band might take you from a deep reggae groove to a Talking Heads cover, from touches of Band of Gypsies-era Hendrix to flashes of eighties Bowie, weaving a kaleidoscopic soundscape that spans decades and nations. Not disjointed, but nebulous; tight, but soulful; frenetic, but funky, and always so very danceable, the John Payton Project can surely hold down a crowd.

General Info

Band Members
Andrew Bellavia-sax/flute/vocals;Bob Olson-guitar/vocals;Jim Versprille-percussion;John Payton-drums/vocals;Mike Reid-bass/vocals
Artist Name
The John Payton Project
Home Page
Funk / Reggae/R&B/Ska/Rock / Jamband

Contact Info

Rochester, NY