Genres: Rock / Pop
Ten West represents the future, in part, of Northeast Florida’s legendary music scene. This quintet, comprised almost entirely of teenagers, was formed in 2008, and has played with a maturity well beyond their years. Now, while making the transition from high school to college, the members of Ten West are looking to graduate to the next level of the music business. But, to know what their future holds, one must look back at their past. Cousins Jeff Morris and Hunter Stewart share guitar duties for Ten West; Destin Kramer plays bass. They met singer George Stevens through a mutual friend, and he introduced them to another old friend, drummer David Smith. The band formed in 2008, when Morris and Stewart were only 14, and they teamed with Impact Development Group the following year, playing their first shows that summer.
These young men all developed through the music programs of Jacksonville, which have generated tremendous global recognition in just a few decades of serious effort. Stevens “was in a performing arts school for all of my schooling from 2003-2010.” He started at LaVilla School of the Arts, which has earned a strong reputation among middle schools in less than a decade in existence, before taking high school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, which has produced countless professionals in every imaginable artistic disciplines. “[DASOTA] has the #1 Grammy Certified Arts program in the country,” says Stevens, “so when you’re coming from a school like that, you’re bound to take away a little with you. And by a little, I mean tons! When it comes to the performance aspects, the school doesn’t miss a beat on teaching you what you need to know to be successful.”
Smith also attended DA and LaVilla, and has now begun studying jazz drums as now part of the top-shelf jazz program at the University of North Florida, widely recognized among the best in the world. It’s likely that some of his bandmates will be joining him after graduation.
Ten West is basically a rock band, in the most contemporary sense of the phrase, but like the circles they developed in, they bring diverse tastes to animate such precocious talents. Members cite artists like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Jimi Hendrix, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Ratt, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Aerosmith, .38 Special, Chevelle, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Limp Bizkit, Buddy Rich, Led Zeppelin, Britney Spears, N’SYNC and the Doors as influences. Also, the Beatles.
Drummer Smith, in particular, has been thoroughly immersed in jazz and Latin methods for years now; his stint at UNF was preceded by pro gigs in Florida, Texas and New York City. Such practical know-how lends extra texture to his percussion and, when joined by bassist Kramer (the youngest of the group, with experience to match), makes for a formidable rhythm section.
As for their approach, Stevens put it best: “It’s really hard to describe it without selling it short. We are a 2 guitar band with a heavy classic rock influence, but also a love for fun, catchy pop songs. Music is supposed to be about feelings. With ours, you get a really nice mixture, and it makes for really good rock n roll.”
In just a couple years together, Ten West has already landed prime slots at places like Freebird; several radio Festivals, and the yearly Florida Music Festival. While continuing to build their live performance profile, the band has recently released a music video for “Come Back”, and has recorded new songs—“Speak Up!” “X’s & O’s” and “Falling Apart”—with Stan Martell of Martell Productions (Kingsland, GA), while building steadily toward their first full-length release. (More music can be found on their website.) The band’s music is changing, growing and evolving at every step, just like the musicians themselves. And that is a process well worth being part of.
Impact Development Group
George Stevens - Singer
Hunter Stewart - Guitar
Jeff Morris - Guitar
Destin Kramer - Bass & Backup Vocals
David Smith - Drummer & Backup Vocals
Ten West's "Hey" - North Florida Radio Airplay
Music Video - " Come Back"
Fallin' Apart 4 U
X's & O's
Current Set Time 45 minutes
2 hours worth of material available.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.