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Sassafraz is the brainchild of composer/singer/guitarist Eric Turner. The band is all about stretching out, getting creative, and pushing boundaries. In the musical world of Sassafraz, heavy funk grooves can quickly change into psychedelic guitar solos; freestyle rap verses might lead into jazz horn battles, or they might go somewhere completely different—that’s the beauty and excitement of Eric Turner’s compositions.
Eric needed to find knowledgeable musicians to play such dynamic and varied music, so he turned to his frequent collaborators, Jack Gould and Zach Pontzer. Then they sought out the best bassist and drummer they could find. This led them to the College Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati where they met Jeff Mellot and Jon Lattier. Holy shit can those guys groove out. Jeff, who has been referred to by some as a "White Questlove", and Jon, a student of the Marcus Miller school of funky bass, make pockets so deep that you can;t help but fall inside and get warm by their funky fire.
They then added the final piece of the puzzle with the addition of Emerson B. a singer, rapper, and freestyle extraordinaire who is one hell of a performer. Emerson effortlessly works the crowd and dances like his clothes are on fire. After tearing it up in Philly and New York for years, Emerson made his way back home to Ohio, met up with Sassafraz, and decided to stay. Members of Sassafraz have shared the stage with Victor Wooten, Wynton Marsalis, ?uestlove, Soulive, Lettuce, Papadosio, Less Than Jake, Badfish, and more. For as young as they are, these guys have been around the proverbial block a few times.
This rock solid 6-piece group has the ability to play any song, in any style, at any time. Their diverse skill set and improvisational approach, mixed with extremely danceable beats, catchy hooks, and funky vocals makes Sassafraz a band that everyone will enjoy! This summer they’re looking to break onto the festival scene with a bang and record their first album. They also hope to sell sassa-fries out their bus. Check them out in a city near you.