Fertile Ground emerged as a quartet in Baltimore during the spring of 1997. The band was founded and is lead by Keyboardist/Song writer James Collins. Coupled with the phenomenal voice of Navasha Daya and rhythmic stylings of drummer Marcus Asante, the band created a versatile sound, which has become their unique signature.
In 1998 Fertile Ground released their debut album "Field Songs" through Collins' independent Label Blackout Studios. The recording was an instant classic on the Jazz/Soul Market. The album featured beautiful ballads like "Ghetto Butterflies" and strong rhythmic progressions like "Sentimental Groove." The album opened the East Coast Market and created an immediate underground following.
Little over a year later, Fertile Ground returned to the Studio and released an even greater album "Spiritual War." Fertile Ground became a sextet, adding world renowned Ekendra Das on percussion and two very established jazz musicians Fred Dunn (Trumpet) and Craig Alston (Tenor Saxophone). "Spiritual War" was the release that propelled the band into the millennium. The Album's lyrics speak to every issue from love to today's societal problems in a musical context that spans through Soul, Latin, Jazz and Reggae. Performing regularly at packed clubs around the US, the band consistently gained prestige and popularity. "Spiritual War" was eventually licensed by UK record label Counterpoint Records and gained instant success on oversea soul/jazz charts. Now, after selling more than 70,000 records independently, Fertile Ground has released yet a third independent album, "Seasons Change."
In support of the album, Blackout Studios launched a 30 date international tour. Dates for the tour included London, Japan, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Spain, Amsterdam, and Baltimore. The album is Fertile Ground's most popular album and is may very well be one of the best soul/jazz albums released this year.