Suddenly the sound of crisp horns, a gritty guitar, polyrhythmic percussion, and a soul-stirring keyboard sail out in balance to the tightly knitted community of music enthusiasts and underground connoisseurs that have become Fertile Ground's audience. Shortly after, the lead vocalist, Navasha Daya appears, reminiscent of some sort of ceremonial queen, and her cosmic stage presence sends the audience cheering and eventually transports them from swaying into all out dancing. Tonight is magical, but it is not out of the ordinary. Fertile Ground has repeated this feat at venues all over the world. This once humble Baltimore-based jazz trio has evolved into a seven piece international powerhouse performing 50-80 shows a year, ranging from sold-out clubs to large stadium festivals. They have hypnotized music lovers at the Jazz Café in London, The Blue Note in Tokyo, B.B. King's in NYC, The Dusable Museum in Chicago, Pier Six in Baltimore, and Blues Alley in D.C. Each of their shows is an opportunity to not only convert people into Fertile Ground fans, but also to renew a dying faith in the power of live music.
Still ironically considered new artists, Fertile Ground has seven years, countless performances, and dozens of recordings to their credit. After 2 years of extensive touring, writing and recording, the group will unveil their fourth full-length masterpiece, simply entitled Black Is... the highly-anticipated CD, is the sequel to the acclaimed 2002 release Seasons Change. This fourth full-length album, which will be internationally released and supported by an extensive world tour, contains a range of ethereal classics such as the title track, Black Is..., a soulful jazz waltz ballad full of affirmation, the joyful noise of Live In the Light; and the introspectively revealing song Naked, which gives us an example of how to truly connect with and reflect each other.
Selling more than 125,000 albums they have created the modern blueprint for independent music sales and become the leader of a movement. With a rebellious freedom and an undaunted genius Fertile Ground's founding leader and keyboardist, James Collins, started Blackout Studios to help get the band's music to listeners the best way possible. Where many artists believe the hype and opt to stand in the longest line waiting to be scooped up by a label, Blackout Studios recognizes that good music can be transmitted through the effective use of the underground.
Fertile Ground has shared the stage with such multi-platinum heavyweights as Cassandra Wilson, Hugh Masekela, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, India Arie, Wynton Marsalis, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, and even Run DMC. The band is often classified as Soul-Jazz, but they spill out of any genre as a cross-cultural fusion of all things spiritual and funk-ridden. In this realm called good music, theatrics never replace integrity, nor does experience and success replace a creatively fresh approach to each project. Messages are heart-felt, conveying an unashamed spirituality, a firm political stance, or whatever the moment requires, and everything is heavily supported by raw, organic, often danceable compositions in the tradition of Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Santana, and Earth Wind & Fire. With the requisite strength, depth and energy to electrify crowds, musicians, DJs, journalists, and promoters not just once or twice, but over and over again, Fertile Ground has been cementing their place as musical and social innovators.