An electrifying fusion of original style and diverse personalities, it is the natural chemistry of Sunny Daze that defines its very essence. The octet, which has been captivating fans for nearly a decade, blends the spirituality of John Coltrane, the rhythmic energy of Parliament, the exploratory element of Miles Davis’ electric period and the soul of James Brown. Its members delight the listeners’ auditory psyche with pieces that are sometimes explosive, sometimes understated, and always soulful. Expressive, jazzy tunes evoke memories of such enduring legends as Stevie Wonder and Sly and the Family Stone. With raw, edgy cuts creating an intriguing palette of jazz, Latin, and groove-intensive beats, Sunny Daze provides soulful garnish to satisfy a funk-happy meal.
Founded in 1998 by guitarist Jesse Urmey, the group's distinctive sound has journeyed from the groove-based folk origins to a more jazz/funk flavor featuring open sectional grooves and jazz harmonies. Nourished from a young age by a strict musical diet of rock, Jesse originally started a rock/funk band named Black Feet, which released two CDs and attained local success. However, Jesse's personality and musical philosophies are best exemplified in his playing and compositions with Sunny Daze, which is heavily influenced by funk, jazz, and hip-hop sounds.
Joe Peterson brings the soul of an acoustic bass to the mix. It is Joe’s ability to spontaneously invent complimentary bass lines that keeps the group’s original compositions grounded. A veteran performer who has toured venues throughout the New York tri-state area, Joe also earned a master’s degree in jazz historiography from Rutgers University.
“In the pocket” is the mantra that focuses drummer Marc Skarecki. The driving force behind the tight funk and Latin grooves that define Sunny Daze’s sound, Marc is a self-taught drummer whose sounds have percolated through local venues for 20 years.
Saxophonist Thorp Rivingston brings a soulful style that captures the energy of the New York streets. He has honed his musical abilities by performing in eclectic locales throughout the east coast, from the streets of New Orleans to the stage of Carnegie Hall. Most recently, he is coming off a tour with Amfibian, led by Phish lyricist Tom Marshall. With years of diverse playing experience and solid energy behind him, Thorp also serves as the group’s recording engineer.
Versatile saxophonist Peter Lyons joined the group in 2001. A classically trained musician, Pete has performed alongside of jazz greats Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, Peter Stoltzman, and Ernie Watts.
With a desire to bring back the funky Hammond B3, Hohner Clavinet and Fender Rhodes sounds, keyboardist Tom Weber brings a harmonically complex groove to the band. In the 1980’s, Tom toured the East Coast with the band “Entre Nous” after being asked to join by leader/drummer Kevin Miller (Fuel). He also has performed with Wil Calhoun (Living Color), Isaac Hayes, Stanley Jordan, Melvin Sparks and funk vibraphonist Jason “Malletman” Taylor.
The 2005 addition of turntablist Chris Lawand, a.k.a. DJ C Reality, led the group to an edgier, hip hop sound. Chris strives to incorporate his turntable skills to different genres of music, and has displayed his scratching abilities on tracks by legendary house music producers Junior Sanchez and Armond Van Helden. Chris previously spent four years as the DJ for the underground hip hop group Myndcrukz, which released two singles through AV8 records.
After a two year hiatus the group lost alto saxaphonist Peter Lyons but gained famed Trombonist Jesse Ribyut of “The Warsaw Poland Bros.” and shortly after Tim Hayes was recruited to play alto saxaphone. The addition of these two members has focused the horn section and revived the original energy of the band.
Currently Sunny Daze is working on a new releases slated for 2012.