The MJ Project is a jazz/funk/jam band made up of four musicians from the Philadelphia area. As described by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Karl Stark, “The four — with their ardent mix of jazz, funk and groove — are poised to see if their harmonic convergence can turn them into a working band.” MJ has created a tight groove and impeccable sound that proves it has become a band that works on many levels.
MJ Project has been playing together for longer than any of its members can remember; for a group that plays jazz/funk/spacy-weirdness, however, that's a good thing. The group formed in Cheltenham, a lovely little suburb of Philly, during high school and spent several years playing little gigs all over the place for fun. After more than 7 years of practicing and tightening its delicious sound, MJ Project has recently started a vicious attack on the hiladelphia scene. The group's mix of talent, telepathic tightness and fearless appreciation of improv are worth checking out for any fan of of good music
The group spent most of its high school years practicing, listening to jam masters such as Phish and Medeski Martin and Wood, and performing at various school functions and coffee houses in the Philadelphia area. The band’s varied sets, which ranged from 25-minute epic originals to jazz standards to classic Stevie Wonder tunes, helped MJ gain experience; the sound was clearly beginning to tighten. As a result of their constant desire to find new influences and ability to play together without any pressure, the members of MJ Project grew together at their own comfortable but rapid pace before they even started college. The group now communicates so well that its music often sounds far advanced for such young musicians. The Project’s sound is an intelligent and funky mix of experimental jazz, danceable grooves and spacey but melodic sounds.
According to Ardmore’s Rusty Nail, “Every now and then you come across a band just oozing with talent. They make it seem easy. This 4-piece experimental, improvisational, jazz, funk band is good… real good. These young kids have their hand on the pulse.”
Ajinkya Joglekar (drums) University of Pittsburgh, Music and Physics
Benjamin Karp (guitar) Carnegie Mellon, Jazz Studies w/ Physics minor
Ian McGuire (keyboards) Berklee College of Music, Performance and Composition
Paul Weinstein (bass) Penn State University, Journalism and English
With an ever-growing fan base (boasting over 1400 names), MJ’s commitment to its music and work ethic will continue to expand its following! Now that all four of the MJers have graduated from college, prepare for more music, more shows, and more jazzsanity.