Listen to their debut album, or witness a live performance by the Heritage Blues Orchestra and you'll recognize this group as something breathtakingly new even as they honor old African-American musical traditions. How can something so deeply rooted in the past still seem so adventurous-even audacious?
Heritage Blues Orchestra delivers by serving up a compelling new take on America's Blues legacy. This utterly contemporary group is digging into innovative musical territory and making a distinct contribution to the African-American musical canvas.
The band features Bill Sims Jr., on vocals and guitar, his daughter Chaney Sims on vocals, and Junior Mack on vocals and on both electric and slide guitars.
The group is driven by the powerful rhythms of Grammy-awarding winning blues drummer Kenny Beedy Eyes Smith; it is buttressed by the churning, precise and percussive rhythms of harmonica virtuoso, Frenchman Vincent Bucher; and ablaze with some of New York City's heaviest horn players who have worked with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Sting and Springsteen.
Heritage Blues Orchestra also boasts contributions from Bruno Wilhelm, the group's highly esteemed tenor saxophonist and horn arranger. A native of France, Wilhelm is influenced by an extensive palette of jazz styles. Whether with ethereal musings or hard-hitting section work, his arrangements punctuate every song they touch.