Delta Nove
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Delta Nove

Band World Funk


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The best kept secret in music



By Erik Koral

If you live in California and are a fan of Latin, Brazilian, African, reggae, samba, funk, or jazz musical styles, then there is a good chance you have seen or at least heard of Delta Nove. Delta Nove formed in 1999 and started touring regularly in 2002. While the band has been playing gigs in California for years, 2005 has been the Long Beach band's most exciting year yet, with two successful tours around the country and big guest-filled festival appearances.

So who is Delta Nove, and what do they sound like? The band's name comes from the word "nine" in Portuguese, which describes the way that they meld so many different styles of music together in their self-described "worldfunk." The band's name is also a metaphor for the manifestation of your mind through music. At a Delta Nove show, you would perhaps think that you had been transported to Rio De Janeiro for Carnival, but you can also hear a little bit of Pancho Sanchez, Santana, Los Lobos, King Sunny Ade, and the classic funk of George Clinton in their sound. While they pay homage to their musical roots and heroes, the band has still created a sound that is fresh, relevant, uplifting, and carries a positive message.

Delta Nove's lineup has recently evolved into a tight and versatile six-piece outfit, including new members Dominic Freedham on drums and redhead Matt Welch, better known as "Viking," on bass and vocals. The original members are Rob Covacevich (saxophone, flute, clarinet, and percussion), Heath Bennett (vibraphone, steel drums, congas, and percussion), John Harrington (trumpet, percussion, vocals), and Bobby Easton (guitar, percussion, vocals). The music has been described as "Sensual, sultry, and sexy" and "High energy dance music" by fans and local press. At any point during a show, the band will abandon their original instruments and start a Brazilian or Afro-Cuban drum stomp, usually dancing though the crowd. Recently, they have been incorporating more hip-hop rhythms into their drumming and have been attracting more of an urban audience to shows. They have been embraced by a wide spectrum of other music lovers as well, including salsa/samba fans, the jam band world, club goers, and college-type crowds. It's a diverse mix of people, but one thing is for sure - everyone loves to dance.

Over the last few years, the band has shared the stage with Umphrey's McGee, Steve Kimock Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, King Sunny Ade, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Particle, Yonder Mountain String Band, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Burning Spear, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others. Members of Delta Nove have also regularly jammed with - and are often compared to - Los Angeles's biggest multi-cultural band, Ozomatli. They had breakthrough performances this year at High Sierra Music Festival and 10,000 Lakes as well as the Brazilian Street Fair in Long Beach and several shows in Mexico. Michael Travis from String Cheese Incident is a huge fan of the band and has sat in with them several times. In October, the band threw a sold out pre-party for the Xingolati Groove Cruise, which featured guests Darren Pujalet from Particle, Kim Manning from Parliament Funkadelic, Jamie Janover from Zilla, and Brian Jordan from KDTU. The cruise also featured two powerful performances from the band, and John and Rob were used as the horn section for the Everyone Orchestra, which featured John Medeski, Vince Herman, G love, Jamie Masefield, Matt Butler, and several other musicians on the boat.

Some additional recent accomplishments include being voted "Road Warriors of the Year" by Home Grown Music Network, winning the Relix Magazine "Jam Off," being nominated for "Best New Groove" by, being voted one of the "Top 10 bands to see in 2005" by, and being nominated as a "Top Live Act" for the Orange County Music Awards. Also, over two hundred radio stations around the world are playing Delta Nove's music from countries as far away as Japan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Brazil. They are also in regular rotation on many Latin, satellite, and jam radio shows all over the USA.

The band has released three proper albums including the self-titled Delta Nove, Signal Hill, and Deep in the Compound, as well as one EP Fiya Ballin. The band was also featured on a Talking Heads tribute album where they did their own funked-up version of "Crosseyed and Painless." Lately, the band has been in their own studio, called The Compound, recording their fifth release, which will come out sometime in Spring 2006. The band will continue to play in the Los Angeles area through January and will then embark on a California tour during Mardi Gras week, with each show featuring a New Orleans/Brazilian Carnival theme. Later in the Spring, fans can look forward to more touring around the country and to more festival appearances this coming summer.


"Delta Nove - The Future is When Review"

This six-song EP kicks off with "Get on Down," a funky jam reminiscent of P-Funk and Maceo Parker. It features some thumping bass, funky guitar and some sweet saxophone. If this song doesn't get you groovin', I don't know what will. Put the title track in that category also.

The second track has a good funky vibe also, although the song overall kind of feels like a cross between The BellRays and classic ska a la Toots and The Maytals. The guitar in Calunga and Maraca Fu also reminds me of The BellRays, but these two tunes have a more world music sound.

Delta Nove recently won some Orange County Music Awards as Best Live Act and Best Jam Band. It's pretty easy to see why. They get a pretty good groove on. The only problem with this disc is that it's way too short, only twenty-three minutes. So, just when you are in full groove mode, the disc is done. Still, these guys show a lot of talent and the ability to meld several genres into their sound. It may be difficult to place them into a category, but it sure is easy to listen to them.

by Gary Schwind
- Rock n World Magazine

"Delta Nove’s “ Fiya Bahlin’ ”"

Delta Nove’s inaugurating CD, "Fiya Bahlin," creates joy and ease with its quick upbeat style.

Yes, Brazilian, funk, jazz, fusion, Caribbean and African can be melded into one album. However with the immense amount of influencing styles there is little consistency among the songs. But if it is one thing the American culture loses every day is the length of its attention spans.

John Harrington, trumpet and vocals, said that this album does not nearly reflect the band’s overall talent or style, but that the group wanted to begin a strong promotional push. So it made an album that gives a small taste of the band’s overall work.

The five-song album sells at the band’s shows and selected Tower Records. The self produced album, just made another order for 2000 more CDs.

Even though the band is inspired by many styles of music each song seems to have one style that particularly stands out.

"Carfire" written by Robert Easton, who plays guitar, bass, vocals among others and Jon Browning also guitar, bass and vocals, is heavy influenced by funk and even some disco. The song jives with heavy funk distortion combined with some traditional rock ‘n’ roll sounding guitar solos.

"Get It Together," the first pick on the album is a fun song. It begins with some kind of chant and then builds like a Charles Mingus song in fast forward. The percussion leads up to the horns, then the vocals kick in. Each member but the drummer sings in the songs. The group vocal effort creates a fun party-type feel in the music.

Three weeks ago KLOS Local Licks, a program devoted to local rising stars played all of "Fiya Bahlin."

Delta Nove formed four years ago. It originally fronted a few female vocals and went by the name Fiya Bahl. However now the band is made up of six regular men and three non-regular participant males.

- 1999, The Daily Titan

"Long Beach band is art and poetry in motion"

By Reena De Asis

Delta Nove is art in motion. On a Saturday evening in March, an eclectic crowd gathered for the six-piece band that brought out the funk with their world-afrobeat style of music. These music enthusiasts were immersed in a mystical and intimate atmosphere at Kozmos in Huntington Beach.

Delta Nove is a collective of songwriters and musicians based out of Long Beach. The band’s roots can be traced back to 1996; four of its existing members started in a band called Fiya Bahl (FB). The lead singer and guitarist, Bobby Easton, refers to his FB days as the first revolutionary phase, in reference to Rastafarianism and burning down Babylon. The band continues to progress in times of change. These days you can catch Delta Nove on tour beyond the California borders, promoting Deep In The Compound, their fourth self-produced album, released in 2003.

It is difficult, nor is it necessary, to adequately “categorize” them; their music is as diverse as the artists with whom they have shared the stage, including Poncho Sanchez, Burning Spear, Olodum, Gato Barbieri, Merle Saunders, King Sunny Ade, Ozomatli, and Roy Hargrove. Delta Nove is composed of talented musicians playing an array of instruments that are as culturally distinct as their music. A Delta Nove musical journey is like painting a vivid picture, setting no boundaries, and dabbling all of the colors on a palate.

LIVE: Delta Nove is described as a mind-altering experience; can you expand upon that and how it relates to your unique style of music?
DN: It’s a metaphor of the manifestation of your mind through music.

LIVE: Who are your musical influences?
DN: Personally, I’m influenced by Bob Marley, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and a lot of Brazilian musicians. [Note: The rest of the band is influenced by LedZeppelin, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, James Brown, Fela Kuti… with an overall emphasis on Brazilian and African rhythm/world beat.]

LIVE: What is it about “afrosambafunk,” (when funk, samba, afrobeat, jazz and rock merge) that inspires you to perform? The band just doesn’t fit in one genre.
DN: Right now people need to categorize stuff, that’s not us. So, something I would like to do is infiltrate and with the advantage of technology, you can bypass a lot of what labels do. We can do everything ourselves!

LIVE: What do you like best about performing for a live audience?
DN: You can’t have music without an audience or vice versa. When you get a good audience it elevates the level of everything, it elevates the level of the band. You push each other up.

LIVE: What sets Delta Nove apart from other rock/funk based bands?
DN: A combination of what we do, the characters that are in it.

LIVE: What is it that people capture from your music?
DN: When we are creating music we aren’t thinking, “Is this going to sell?” A lot of our songs are instrumental, so were trying to incorporate more lyrics. I try to write words that say something but more metaphorically. Growing up lyrics was the last thing on my mind and as I get older, I start to appreciate it more.

LIVE: What is the band currently working on?
DN: We have our own studio in Long Beach called The Compound and we are just starting to go in there to record new songs. Plus, incorporating working with a new bass player and drummer. Working on better tunes. We will be using more Brazilian percussions, but unconventionally, like playing funk beats. Infusing different things together, I mean that kinda is what music is based on. People like John Coltrane is a great example, they just push the boundaries of their instruments way beyond limits. By doing that, it increases the music world vocabulary.

LIVE: What is it you ultimately want people to walk away with from listening to your music?
DN: Sweaty booty…. and expanded mind or vice versa. [John Harrington, trumpet player and vocalist interjects, “Don’t forget the smile.”]

Delta Nove is a nominee for Best Jam Band and Best Live Band for the Orange County Music Awards 2004. Log onto to get down with the funk and for “an organic recording experience.”
- Live Magazine March 2004


Fiya Bahlin' EP - 1998
Signal Hill (Live) - 2000
Delta Nove - 2002
Deep In The Compound (Live) - 2003
The Future Is When - 2006
Holiday Party EP - 2006



Bring the FUNK! Delta Nove is a national touring world-funk band based out of Long Beach, CA, comprised of members with diverse musical backgrounds and influences. From coast to coast, Delta Nove has been rocking the dance floor with their tasty blend of funk, Brasilian samba, afro-beat, world, jazz, rock, ska and reggae music since 1998.

In addition to being voted as one of the "Top 10 Bands to See in 2005" by, Delta Nove was nominated "Best Live Act" at the Orange County Music Awards in 2004 & 2005, and named Best Live Act in 2006. Delta Nove has been supported by national media outlets including Entertainment Weekly, Paste, CMJ, Relix, and local media outlets around the country. The group has also enjoyed radio airplay on over 200 radio stations throughout the United States, including Brasil and Japan, as well as web-based radio and digital downloads. With an intense touring schedule, they are one of the hardest working bands in the independent music scene and are a unique addition to the already rich musical history of Long Beach, CA. The varied rhythms, deep grooves and funky horns that make Delta Nove stand out are what moves the crowd and gets the place jumping.

Delta Noves diversity is also apparent in the artists with whom they have shared the stage and events with, including world-renowned artists such as Poncho Sanchez, Burning Spear, Olodum, Ozomatli, King Sunny Ade, Gato Barbieri, as well as The Black Crowes, Flaming Lips, Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Les Claypool, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Govt Mule, Cake, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Steve Kimock Band, G. Love & Special Sauce, Merl Saunders, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. In addition, individual members of Delta Nove have performed with great artists such as Carlos Santana, members of George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, Roy Hargrove, members of the Grateful Dead, Bruce Hornsby, Los Lobos, Fishbone, members of The String Cheese Incident, and champion Brasilian samba school Mangueira.

The groups touring schedule has afforded them the opportunity to play in such venues as House of Blues , Knitting Factory, Hard Rock Cafés, The Lion's Den, Ventura Theatre, Georgia Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, and the Galaxy Theatre, to name a few. The band has also performed at numerous universities, public schools, festivals, and community events and benefits ranging from New York to Nashville, San Francisco to New Orleans, etc. Delta Nove is here to bring funky positive and uplifting music, taking music lovers on a pleasurable trip and giving them the time of their life. See you at the D No show!