30-year veteran bassist, Christian de Mesones, whose musical resume covers Heavy Metal to Hip-Hop, put out a call to some of his closest musician friends, excited about the opportunity to play one of the nation's largest Jazz festivals. When everyone responded with interest, a date was set, a studio was booked, and Groove Skool was born.
Playing together for the first time, the band created a few song ideas. “Blame it on Rio” and “Latin Jive” resulted from this initial jam session, and were polished and submitted to the Capital Jazz Challenge panel. The rest is history, with Groove Skool making their first live appearance in 2006 on the Symphony Woods Stage at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
In 2008, the band found a home at K2 Restaurant and Lounge in Woodbridge, Virginia, and was able to expand the instrumentation from five to seven members, adding a lead guitarist and vocalist to the original ensemble. Shortly thereafter, the band released a seven-song EP, produced by Christopher Valentine for Woodz Entertainment, Inc., that garnered attention from Baltimore radio station WHFC 91.1. “Latin Jive received airplay, and the band was branded as “The Smooth Sound of Hybrid Jazz” by on-air personality Trish Hennessy.
2010 was a banner year for the group. “Limited Edition” was officially released to the public during the band's sold-out performance at the legendary Blues Alley Jazz and Supper Club in Washington, DC. The album took the band to new heights when they were featured on the cover of the Richmond Sunday Times after their stellar performance at the annual 2nd Street Festival, opening for Old School R&B music legends Con Funk Shun.
Limited Edition contains no click tracks, drum machines, sequencers, or auto-tune effects. It is the chemistry of the musicians and their varied backgrounds that makes each song stand on its own. Ronald Jackson of thesmoothjazzride.com states, “Cool and smooth, with a distinctive funky edge where it’s called for, the Washington, DC-based Groove Skool Band truly lives up to its self-description of providing the “smooth sound of hybrid jazz,” that suave mix of R&B, Latin, and contemporary jazz that has become so accepted universally now. This, the band’s debut release, entitled Limited Edition, provides smart hooks and light, seductive melodies, as well as funk-driven rhythms to make this project quite well-rounded.”
Groove Skool is Keith Anderson on Saxophone, Nick Costa on Drums, Christian de Mesones on Bass Guitar, Mike Gamble on Lead Guitar and Kevin Grogan on Keyboards. Vocal Sensation Lori Anne Williams also appears on Limited Edition.