Hotel X

Hotel X


Hotel X makes an irresistibly joyful African-based sound. This multigenerational ensemble lays down a foot-stomping rhythmic groove, and their rich melodies dance all over it. This is music for the mind, booty and spirit, and the enthusiasm of its presentation is truly contagious.


Founded in 1992 by Tim Harding and Ron T. Curry as a setting to explore electric bass duets, Hotel X was quickly joined by a host of Richmond, Virginia underground music scene veterans and released six albums on the L.A. based SST Records. SST Records was founded by members of the seminal punk rock group Black Flag and included in their catalog some of the great American underground groups such as Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Sound Garden, Universal Congress Of and Sacharine Trust.

Hotel X toured regionally and nationally between 1992 and 1997, received reviews in Jazz Times, Washington Post, Option, The Wire and Alternative Press among others; was nominated for Best Jazz Group by NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors) 1996, and participated in the JVC Jazz Festival in NYC 1997. National Public Radio selected soundbites of several songs from Hotel X for use between news stories in 1994. Richmond Magazine awarded Hotel X with the Pollack Prize for Excellence in Arts in September of 2005.

In the biography "Fela - the Life and Times of an African Musical Icon" by Yale professor Michael E. Veal, Hotel X gets a brief mention (alongside of the Art Ensemble of Chicago , Brandford Marsalis and Steve Turre) on page 259 when the author talks about the broad influence of Fela Kuti's Afrobeat style. Anyone interested in African music and culture would love this book.

In 1994 Hotel X contributed an original composition, "One Way Street" (released on the cd 'Ladders' in 1995), to the trailer of the film "Hands of Fate" by Chris Quinn which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

Between 1998 to the present Hotel X has been mining the musical wealth of Africa and Latin America by using rhythmns and melodies inspired by traditional music and contemporary composers from those regions. The 2003 self produced/released seventh cd by Hotel X titled "Hymns for Children" marks the departure from the groups' earlier more electric, harmolodic adventures into the organic, world music inspired band of today.

Hotel X has shared the stage with Bern Nix (Ornette Coleman and Primetime), Greg Ginn (Black Flag), Balla Kouyate (Super Rail Band), Papa Susso (Gambian kora master),The Roots, Yellowman, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Ran Blake, Hasidic New Wave, Marc Ribot, Plunky Branch, Wayne Horvitz and Pigpen, Amy Denio, John Bradshaw and Bazooka just to name a few.


Hymns For Children (2003)
Routes Music (1996 SST)
Uncommon Grounds (1995 SST)
Ladders (1994 SST)
Engendered Species (1994 SST)
Residential Suite (1993 SST)
A Random History Of The Avant-Groove (1992 SST)

Set List

Sinaloa, The Mother of Us All, Speaker of the House, Kinchasa Manflower, Philodesia, Bare Feet, Ranglin for joy, The Berber's Jinx, Mafe, Desert Bridge, D'Afrique, No Limits

Covers: Mandjou (Salief Keita), Kele Mou Bana (Mor Thiam), Next Stop Soweto (Abdullah Ibrahim), Here is Freedom (Bheki Mseleku), Thembi (Pharoh Sanders), Jaliya (Traditional)