August 15, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – The Stratos Ensemble, an experimental, improvisational, rock/jazz fusion group, is excited to present a multi-media music performance – performed music accompanied by projected video art depicting abstract nature, time-lapse, and computer animation – on Saturday, September 17 at Alva’s Showroom 1415 W 8th Street, San Pedro, CA 90732. There will be two sets – 8pm and 9:30pm. Admission is $10 online at http://alvasshowroom.com/calendar.php, and $15 at the door.
The Stratos Ensemble is a band and music project lead by Dean De Benedictis – aka electronic musician Surface 10 and originally a fusion keyboardist – that has been expanding the margins between electronic soundscapes and jazz sensibilities since 2004. Comprised of experienced and knowledgeable players – Daniel Coffeng on guitar and guitar synth, Doug Lunn on fretless bass, and Brock Avery on drums – the ensemble’s format is completely improvisational, yet utilizes musicianship and a variety of methods to yield the effect of being pre-composed music. The Stratos Ensemble tends to fit well in a progressive jazz-fusion classification, but because most of the players have thorough experience in a variety of other genres, their overall sound comes across far more cinematic than other ensembles in the fusion and jazz scene. This has also set them wildly apart from the free-jazz movement. They are an improvisational band, much like the free jazz movement, but the Stratos Ensemble focuses more on melodic content rather than purely sound or non-idiomatic approach.
Championing forgotten pioneers of the 70s, such as those involved in the early ECM Records movement, as well as the deeper side of early progressive rock, The Stratos Ensemble approaches their work from an ambient and progressive music base, rather than a traditional jazz school of thought.
Aside from keyboardist and founder Dean De Benedictis, The Stratos Ensemble is essentially a band of circulating members, evolving over time as players leave and are replaced, sometimes even by those who left previously. The band/project gears towards a concrete list of personnel, but rides the tide according to whatever come up for its members.
The style of the ensemble’s music, ever since the beginning, is a long-time dream and idea of founding member Dean De Benedictis. For this reason, during each performance, the band’s general direction and intensity are often led by Dean as he ties themes and textures together. On balance, these players are simply joining together to interactively sculpt new passages and musical realities by the sheer joy of their raw skill, talent, creativity and musical understanding.
This particular show will also have a unique angle, being that jazz fusion is rarely performed with forms of pristine video imagery. The videographer for the event will actually be Dean De Benedictis in collaboration with Claire Raymond and a bevy of cinematographers who donated their work to the event. In addition to the live show, The Stratos Ensemble will also be performing live on KXLU 88.9fm LA, on Sunday, September 11 between 8pm and 10pm. To hear the live stream that night, listen at http://kxlu.com.