New York Ska Jazz Ensemble
May 21st 2020
About the Artist
The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble (NYSJE) is an internationally renowned recording and touring group. Since originating the ska-jazz style and genre name in 1994, the group, led by founder Rock Steady Freddie, has released thirteen CDs to date. Strongly committed to touring and bringing their music to people all over the world, NYSJE has logged over 70 European tours to date and continues to perform regularly throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.
NYSJE’s recordings and performances have garnered critical acclaim for their high energy, creative originals, kinetic ska interpretations of jazz standards, as well as their potent mix of dance hall, reggae, rock steady and jazz. Performance highlights include: The North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Quebec Festival de Musique, Musiques en Ete (Geneva), as well as the Bob Marley Reggae Festival (with Israel Vibration and Sister Carol), The Discover and Bell Atlantic Jazz festivals in the USA and many more. In addition, NYSJE has the singular distinction of being the first American Ska band to play in Poland after the Berlin wall came down.
The band had been featured in Downbeat, Reggae Nucleus, The Beat, Ragga and Jazziz magazines. NYSJE’s music can be heard regularly on television on the Nickelodeon network, MTVs Road Rules, as well as two nationally airing Campbell’s Soup Commercials. In Italy, their video, Properly, airs on MTV. NYSJE's song "Prime Suspect” is featured in the HBO documentary “Redemption" which was nominated for a 2014 Academy Award. The song and documentary are currently available on all Delta Airlines International flights.
Entering their 26th year, NYSJE shows no sign of slowing down, with a brand new studio recording, Break Thru, set for a Spring 2019 release, international tours booked and a stronger than ever commitment to live performance. Forward Selector!!!
Rocksteady Freddie - saxophone/flute/vocals Kevin Batchelor - trumpet/vocals
Mark Damon - bass/vocals
Earl Appleton - keyboards
Joey Gallo - drums
Andy Bassford - guitar
NYSJE Social Media
Facebook: Instagram: @nyskajazz
“New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, founded in 1994 by saxophonist ‘Rock Steady Freddie’ Reiter, still hews close to ska’s foundational connection to jazz and its 14th album BREAK THRU (Brixton Records) is made for dancing. It’s pure energy.” -Downbeat (earned four star review)
“An impressive grouping of seminal ska musicians who come together for the singular purpose of marrying blue beat and be-bop. A swinging, skanking soiree of sound that pleases on all levels.”
-Long Island Voice
“The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is a horn happy bunch of rhythm maniacs.”
-New York Times
“(NYSJE) trundles across the fertile turf shared by Jamaican music, jazz and R+B, swinging from Ellington to E-ticket originals...”
“The six members of (NYSJE)....prove themselves strong jazz soloists (and) audaciously transform jazz classics like Mingus’ “Haitian Fight Song” and Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Dance” into slyly arranged ska showcases.”
“ A Dream band for Ska Lovers...”
-Weekly Planet(St. Petersburg,Fl.)
“It’s a unanimous decision: (NYSJE is) the new Heavyweight Champion of the ska ring.”
“these are faithful ska disciples, true believers with creative vision and musical ability to move the music forward.”
-The Anchorage Press