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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Jazz Electronic




"Doombalaya: Dinner (2014)"

Doombalaya—"Jambalaya" with "Doom" in place of "Jam"—grew out of 2009/2010 jam sessions among Tulane University (Louisiana) jazz student. Since then, they've become deeply integrated with New Orleans' musicians and musical scene, playing in clubs uptown and downtown. "Doombalaya is a New Orleans Jazz/Afrobeat/Rock band that tries to push the limits of what we can do. We all have a deep love for music that's out and music that's in," explains composer and keyboardist Ethan Mitchel Stern. "We're a band full of Frank Zappa/Pharoah Sanders/Art Tatum/Peter King/Paul Simon fans that are developing our own sound."

Their first full-length release, the self-produced Dinner captures every aspect of Doombalaya's adventurous (sometimes even playful) spirit with colorful originals and cover versions from Guiseppe Verdi to Black Sabbath to the music of SuperMario® all rendered in firebrand and freewheeling jam.

You can tell that Doombalaya can jump and party from the opening "Gio Rio," its bass and drums burping out a staccato rhythm that the horns pick up and roast like the bebop classic "Salt Peanuts" strapped onto a rocket then blasted off to Mars. "Intra-Knot" weaves a more relaxed tempo with electric guitar and keyboards alternately constructing and deconstructing its circular, progressive rock hook. "Moonlight Epic" stretches into more traditional verse/chorus song structure with the band building ripples of progressive electric jazz-rock and Motown soul into waves of rhythm surrounding New Orleans vocalist Abby Diamond.

Dinner also serves more exotic fare. Crescent City horns romp through this colorful "Super Mario® Medley," music from and inspired by the videogame series that sometimes chuckles, sometimes laughs out aloud, with the iconoclastic yet humorous spirit of The Mothers of Invention. But even this won't prepare you for the bacon that Doombalaya makes out of "War Pigs," a foundational slab of molten heavy metal from Black Sabbath's landmark 1970 release Paranoid (Warner Bros.) expertly rearranged for their rollicking New Orleans style. Unison (and not so unison) horns burn hot and sinister through the opening free-for-all, and drummer Jason Winikoff thoroughly nails down Bill Ward's original thunder—including and especially Ward's beat-crunching entrance. Nine minutes gives every Doombalaya soloist a chance to shine in this genuine reinvention, always more easily said than done, of this iconic song.

Their rearrangement rocks Guiseppe Verdi's "Va, Pensiero" across a melancholy two-step, one more shining example of Doombalaya's innovative approach and versatility and the sweet final course of this tasty Dinner.
Track Listing: Gio Rio; Intra-Knot; Moonlight Epic (featuring Abby Diamond); Llenos de Balas; War Pigs; Just Right; Vitiligo; Bad Dancing Never Killed the Ground; Super Mario Medley; Va, Pensiero.

Personnel: Matt Rosen: guitars, vocals; Ethan M. Stern: keyboards, guitars, percussion, vocals; Cleveland Donald: trumpet, vocals; Ari Kohn: tenor sax, vocals; David Bode: alto sax; Matthew Van Houten: baritone sax; Nick Benoit: bass; Jason Winikoff: drums, percussion, Mario; Cyrus Nabipoor: trumpet; Abby Diamond: vocals.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Modern Jazz - All About Jazz


Dinner (2014) - Full Length CD
Doom Rag EP (2013) - 4 song EP



Whether playing to a packed house in Greenwich Village or working out the newest arrangement of their favorite songs, New Orleans’ 8-piece “progressive world-beat” powerhouse Doombalaya is pushing forward and breaking ground.  

Coming off of a successful run of tour dates throughout the eastern United States, the band has been developing a unique sound, starting with their influences and selecting what they love about each one. “We may change day to day who exactly we’re trying to channel,” says Ethan Stern, one of Doombalaya’s principal songwriters, “but we know that no matter what, each influence and specific sound we each love has always been characteristic of Doombalaya.”

Following their 2013 debut release Doom Rag EP, Doombalaya’s full-length record release Dinner. in early 2014 showcases the trajectory the band has been on since its formation in New Orleans in 2009. In 5 years the band has gone from an informal jam session of Tulane jazz students to cutting their teeth and learning the language of New Orleans’ world famous Frenchmen Street and ultimately transforming into an individual and group compositional unit. Doombalaya’s bassist and songwriter Nick Benoit coined the term “progressive world-beat,” as the closest description of the band’s music. He notes, “the common interest of the band meld seamlessly with each member’s distinct musical personality. The band isn’t even really Doombalaya unless everybody is on stage.”

The band has had many successes, but almost none as great as their tour across the United States. Doombalaya has been able to spread their music to 7 states through touring dates and globally via their released music on iTunes and Spotify. “Doombalaya's innovative approach and versatility” and “adventurous (sometimes even playful) spirit with colorful originals and cover versions from Guiseppe Verdi to Black Sabbath” – as stated by All About Jazz critic Chris Slawecki- have driven the band to be a live music staple of the New Orleans scene.

Doombalaya has a unique sound that embodies the diverse sources it stems from. Members have studied music around the world in an attempt to create a new voice “You haven’t heard anything like this before,” starts Jason Winikoff, Doombalaya’s percussionist, “and there’s good reason.  A lot of our sound comes from distant corners of the globe. We started with some of the best music in the world in New Orleans, but we’ve also studied in Italian and Dutch conservatories, Zambia, and Ghana.  We try to channel these music cultures through a live show that will keep the audience both dancing and thinking.”

All of Doombalaya’s songwriters are developing strong new material, and the band looks forward to the future.

Band Members