Galen James
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Galen James

Austin, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Austin, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Jazz Neo Soul


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Galen James @ Witzend Restaurant Bar Live Music Venue

Venice, California, United States

Venice, California, United States



Thanks for coming on the show last week, fellas, hell of a show down at Charlie Fosters. Hope to do that again soon.

Check the blog for more info.

DJ Pretentious - Royal Jester Productions

Hey! It was so awesome hearing you guys on friday. Quite amazing, if i do say so myself. Really, the minute you guys come out with a CD, please let me know! Gonna need that. Thank you so much for coming all the way down to Huron. That must have taken a lot of planning, and it was great that you guys would take time to do something like that.

Again, it was great hearing you!
- Kirsten Crockett

You guys were AMAZING on Friday!!!! It was so nice to hear something that I've never really heard anything like before, and I REALLY liked it!!!! How can I get a recording?
- Dana Stein

Compendium is a refreshing reminder that music can be progressive and classic at the same time.

Having just assembled in September, one might expect an amateurish performance from the local Kalamazoo band.

However, there was nothing amateur about their show last Wednesday at Charlie Foster’s in downtown Kalamazoo.

The band is innovative without abandoning the foundations of the integrity of their instruments. It takes talent to execute their sophisticated melodies and creativity to fuse their many different styles.

Their genre is indefinable, which adds to the intrigue. They are funky like Robert Randolph and refined like Eric Clapton, yet there is a distinct, underlying sexy vibe that makes their music unique and fresh.

In fact, Galen, the band’s lead vocalist was radiating with confidence. Like Bono or Sting, his one-named rock and roll elders, Galen rose to the occasion.
Perhaps his poise was due to the six exceptional musicians behind him. Galen was responsible for rounding up the band and his reason for choosing each member was simple.

“I heard something in the way they played and I liked it,” Galen said.

This cooperation is a large part of the band’s creative process as well. Galen writes songs and brings them to the band. “They put their own signature sound to it and it gets morphed into our own thing,” he said.

Their ability to improv comes from their jazz background. The musicians are all students in the Western Michigan University music program, specifically jazz studies.
Their band consists of seven members, with frequent guests. Galen is the voice, Sean Carney plays guitar, Hugh Little plays the keyboard, Ryan Andrews drums, Sam Weber plays bass, Terrance Massey plays trumpet and Sean Hill plays the sax.

Although they were exclusive to their instruments on Wednesday, their talents extend further than the crowd experienced at Charlie Foster’s.

Each band member plays a significant role and contributes by writing music, as well as performing it. The song “African 6/8” was written by Ryan Andrews, for example.

It’s a spicy jam that consists of the driving drums of traditional African music while still holding on to the nature of Compendium’s unique sound. Their understanding of the origins of music is apparent and impressive, but their ability to integrate the recognizable with the unexpected is where real praise is due.

Charlie Foster’s offered a cozy setting for an intimate show, featuring an open floor instead of a stage.

There was something about the venue, perhaps the informality or the comfort of the venue that made me feel more like I was getting a sneak peak during band practice than watching a rehearsed set.
The talent and training of each band member is apparent in their smooth transitions and synchronized harmonies.

The veteran Compendium concert-goers were grooving like it was a Saturday night, not to mention the musicians whose love of music was obvious from their impromptu dance moves.
At times, the lyrics were a bit provocative and the low lights of the venue, combined with Sam Weber’s raw bass lines, had me literally blushing.

Most of the band will be graduating at the end of this semester, but they plan to record an album this summer and continue to perform throughout the area.

“If an opportunity arises, of course we would take it,” Galen said.

In the meantime, Compendium will play every Wednesday through April at Charlie Foster’s in downtown Kalamazoo. For more information, visit

Kayla Powers, a Western Herald Arts writer, is a junior majoring in art history, and can be reached via e-mail at - The Western Herald


Still working on that hot first release.



Galen James & Compendium are miles ahead of the game. A mixture of analog synthesizers, guitar, with skillfully arranged horn sections and an amazing singer with a unique voice and perfect pitch-accuracy. 

Galen is a recent LA transplant to Austin, originally hailing from Michigan. He is a 5-­time Downbeat Award­-winning singer and composer akin to Miguel, Jason Mraz, The Weeknd, and D'Angelo.

His music has been described as a fusion of melodic funk, urban soul and progressive-pop. Along with his backing band, all graduates of the Jazz Studies Program at UT­ Austin's Butler School of Music, Galen James puts on a live show that engages audiences from start to finish and captivates with his stunning, high­-energy vocals.

His latest album, which received stellar reviews from LA blogs and radio, was co­produced and recorded with Grammy Award­ winner Doug Messenger (Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, D’Angelo, Miles Davis, Jimmy Eat World).

He has also performed w/Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Johnny Mathis and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has opened for Stefon Harris & Blackout and Darmon Meader of New York Voices.

"This five time Downbeat Award winner will leave you surprised with his raw talent and compositional prowess..." ­

"He's been making music his entire existence and lives to perform live." ­ Sexee Mag


Check out live videos from his latest album here 

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