Oracle Blue
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Oracle Blue

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Band R&B Pop




"Artist Spotlight"

Myrtle Beach-based band Oracle Blue is challenging
norms on all sides: that a band has to fit exclusively
within one genre; that Miles Davis and the Grateful
Dead don’t fit in the same sentence; or that big talent
demands high drama. But notably missing with Oracle
Blue is the tension that regularly flanked Fleetwood
Mac, or the egomaniacal disputes of Axl Rose with,
well, everyone. They are just six people who really,
truly love music. One conversation with the group
quickly proves they aren’t a ragtag group of wannabes
— they are the real deal.

Keyboard and trumpet player JP
Taylor notes that the group’s mashup
of musical tastes works
in harmony.
“We all come from different
backgrounds. I’ve always liked jazz
a lot — it’s always been my go-to
genre. But I’ve also been really into
hip-hop and electronic — and at one
point,” he chuckles, “heavy metal.”
The group concedes with laughter.
“I grew up playing guitar,” says
guitarist and vocalist Tim Hardwick.
“My dad listened to a lot of Eric
Clapton and Peter Green — that was
guitar music to me. Then, going to
school and meeting these people
playing classical guitar — it was
a completely different universe.
It’s been a really cool growing

“I like the heavy, expressive element
of music, but I also like the sensual,
intimate side, too,” JP says, “and I
feel like that’s what we’re trying
to achieve: a balance of those two

Drummer Wade McMillan chimes in,
saying, “I think the jazz part of it, for
us, is pushing boundaries of what is
perceived to be the norm.”
All six of the members’ passion for
the craft is supplemented by higher
education and an impressive résumé
of performance experience. The
four-year-old ensemble originated
at Coastal Carolina University as the
CCU Jazz Combo under the direction
of Dr. Matthew White, an assistant
professor of music at the school.
Although they’ve since graduated,
the group’s members couldn’t get
enough of playing together. They
are honest-to-goodness music nerds,
disguised by trendy hairstyles, selfdeprecating
humor and a darn good
sound. Conversation flows easily,
but their natural chemistry shines
brightest when they play music.
If they had to categorize themselves,
Oracle Blue would fall somewhere
in the space of funk, blueeyed
soul and jazz — creating a
smorgasbord of sounds to form a
genre that is entirely their own.
When asked about their favorite
artists and musical backgrounds, the
bandmates’ answers span the far
corners of iTunes. From jam bands to
indie blues, classical jazz to pop/rock,
it’s hard to pin down any one — or
five — musical influences for Oracle
Blue’s collective sound. And that’s a
positive thing.

“The more we can include everyone’s
different influences to create a soup
of whatever sound we can make
together, the better the writing
is going to be,” explains Mckinley
Devilbiss, who plays bass and sings
background vocals.

In addition to penning and playing
original songs, the band often
performs covers, too. Liz KelleyTavernier,
the band’s vocalist,
guitarist and songwriter, says
the group enjoys the fluidity and
diversity of its repertoire. “We love
to take songs that we like or songs
that are popular right now and
arrange them to incorporate our
influences and be more of our style,”
she says.

“I also think that studying jazz has
helped us with improvisation — not
necessarily within a certain style or
genre, but just the ability across the
board to create and compose on the
spot, and interact with each other
while we’re playing music,” says Liz.
According to the band, that’s where
the most excitement happens during
a show.

“That’s my favorite part — when
somebody in the group does
something unexpected,” claims
trumpet and keyboard player Zach
Douglas. “Anything I’m not ready for
— that makes it super exciting.”
“It’s a musical conversation,”
explains Liz,“ and you don’t always
know exactly what’s going to
happen, but you enjoy interacting
with one another.”

“Well, I like it best when people
dance!” says JP with a grin.
“Yeah! We were playing the other
night and there was a bunch of
little kids dancing,” says Liz. “To me,
that makes it super fun because,
at that age, they don’t have any
hesitations yet and they’re just kind
of experiencing the joy of music.
It’s really pure.”

From exhilarating dance sets to onstage
stories not suitable for print,
the band laughs as they relive their
most memorable moments together.
And those experiences aren’t by any
means limited to the Grand Strand.
Not too long ago, the band was
honored with an invitation to play
the Montreux Jazz Festival in Europe.
“The university helped us with
fundraising to help cover expenses,”
says Liz. “We’ve received so much
community support — we really
couldn’t have done it without the
help of donors from the Myrtle
Beach and Horry County area.
We’re so grateful.”

The others nod vigorously and
start rattling off genuine shoutouts
to everyone who’s propelled
them to where they are today: their
professors, directors and other
supporters at Coastal Carolina;
WAVE 104.1 radio personality Scott
Mann; local booker Scott Byrd; a slew
of venue owners along the coast;
and “anyone that’s ever come out
to a show.”

After being well received on their
2016 European tour, the band put
energy into recording an all-original,
4-track EP — drop date TBD. They
hope to hit the road again soon,
and continue to build a regional
audience in Charleston and
Wilmington. In the meantime,
they’ll continue to perform locally
at a variety of events and venues
ranging from restaurants to music
festivals to private functions. - HTC Life Connections Magazine

"Good Morning Carolinas Interview"

"We're talking about a globally acclaimed jazz group from right here at CCu!"
-Amanda Kinseth, Good Morning Carolinas - WPDE ABC15

"Oracle Blue Radio Feature"

"Oracle Blue has been killing it . . . Every time they play somewhere, especially part of a show with other bands, they’re the ones that seem to get the most chatter, and there’s a reason for it."
-Scott Mann, Classic Rock Wave 104.1 - Wave 104.1


ORACLE BLUE, 2017.  Laundry [Single].  Independent.
ORACLE BLUE, 2018.  Gilded Kingdoms [CD].  Independent. (Estimated release date May 29th, 2018)



Oracle Blue was founded in the fall of 2013 and is based out of Myrtle Beach, SC.  They have had the honor of receiving the prestigious DownBeat 2016 Student Music Award for an Outstanding Performance in the Blues/Pop/Rock Group category.  

Oracle Blue has performed at countless local events and recently embarked on a European tour with performances at Montreux, Umbria and Vienne jazz festivals.

In February of 2018 Oracle Blue was selected via contest to open for Lalah Hathaway.  Oracle Blue performed opening sets at the Knight Theatre at the Levine Center of the Arts (Charlotte, NC) and at the Cone Denim Entertainment Center (Greensboro, NC) as part of Lalah Hathaway's "Honestly" album release tour.

The group took 2017 to hone their craft, compose original music, and prepare for the release of their debut album Gilded Kingdoms in spring of 2018.  Moving forward with determination and excitement, the future is looking bright for Oracle Blue.

Band Members