Beginning in June, 2006, Playhouse started their jazztronic journey playing their blend of House, Jazz & R&B in and around Columbus OH. Keeping a steady performance schedule, Playhouse has brought their exciting live show to venues ranging from restaurants, rock & jazz clubs, art galleries to outdoor festivals, dance clubs and private social events.
Each show is different, with the theme being established by the audience, many times well before the playing begins. The band seems to feed off the energy, recycle it, and toss it back around the room. Once the energy ball gets rolling, the result is an interactive emotional high that neither the band nor the audience can deny. Strong compositions and intelligent collective improvisation give this band a depth and range that is seldom seen. Playhouse is known to share the fun with other artists if the situation presents itself. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove has sat in with the band, as has Tenor Saxophonist Eddie Bayard. They also provide a very nice backdrop for MC’s who seem to also gather at Playhouse shows.
Beginning as a three piece, the band as well as its sound has evolved while never losing sight of the importance of connecting the dance and the trance. Featuring Sean Ferguson on keyboards, Carlos Fisher on drums, loops and samples, Jason Branscum on the Trombone, Billy Zehnal on electric and acoustic bass and Jeffro Jam [Mini Moog Synthesizer, effects, and samples].
A steady performance schedule and the independent release of their debut CD, Billy’s Playhouse, made the past year a busy one. The group also undertook a brief tour, the highlight of which was the Atlantic Antics Festival in Brooklyn NY, where they were very well received. The next year will undoubtedly be filled with more. The band also plans to take it to the next level, as they search for a recording and/or distribution deal. They are also warm to the idea of working with film makers, TV show and commercial producers etc. Playhouse is eager to be heard and excited about the future.
“Exciting and inviting groove music…” – Maggie Brennan (DJ, WCBE Cols. Oh.)
“…very unique, very funky….excellent band!” –Mark Henderson (owner, Rumba Café Cols. Oh)
“These guys stole the show.” – Chris Ackerman (stage mgr. Atlantic Antics Festival, Brooklyn, NY)
Billy Zehnal - bass, fearless leadership
Don Carlos - drums, beats, science
Sean Ferguson - arp, rhodes, clavinet, mad science
Jeffro Jam - moog, keytars, master of ceremonies
Jason Branscum - slide trombone, violence