Raw Deluxe
Gig Seeker Pro

Raw Deluxe

San Francisco, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States
Band Hip Hop Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"SF Weekly Music Awards 2002"

Oct. 16th, 2002

SF Weekly Music Awards 2002
Nominated for the
Soul / Blues / Funk Catagory

Whether Raw Deluxe is in its free-flowing improvisational mode or working through the sweaty structures of its awe-inspiring catalog, the quintet is always a sure bet for a good time. With a musical history that stretches back to the Bay Area's late-'90s acid jazz and hip hop scene, the band has spent almost five years building a reputation for expert guitar work, energetic horns, and propulsive organ grooves.

Comprised of Chris Spano on drums, Chris Arenas on bass, Matt Fleming on the electric piano and organ, Tony Jurado on sax, and Jason Collins on guitar, Raw Deluxe released its acclaimed debut EP, Back to the Jungle, in 2001. XLR8R magazine promptly hailed the effort as "killer jazz-funk," and the band reeled in a host of awards that year. The six-song disc -- especially the awesome single "Get Some" -- whetted the appetites of many funk fans. Raw Deluxe intends to deliver its bootylicious follow-up sometime in 2003, after the group comes back from its current West Coast tour. Of course, the group may never return: Like true road warriors, Raw Deluxe has been gigging nonstop in support of Back to the Jungle. For this boombastically fun live band, the stage is a home away from home, especially when the ensemble's playing with such popular acts as Marginal Prophets, Boomshanka, Crown City Rockers (mission:), and the Breakestra.

Wherever Raw Deluxe is, it can always be counted on to cook up a savory mix of danceable tunes. If you like your funk steaming, try it Raw.
- SF Weekly

"Boomshanka/Raw Deluxe 02.22.02 San Francisco"

Tongue & Groove hosted two of San Francisco's own, Boomshanka and Raw Deluxe . This was an exciting evening, this being one of the last home town shows for Boomshanka before they embark on their first national tour. This was also an exciting night for Raw Deluxe fans, as it was the group's debut appearance at the club.

Raw Deluxe took the stage shortly after 10pm. Though there was a light crowd at first, this didn't stop the band from tearing up the stage, instantly jumping into one of their rump shaking grooves. Chris Spano laid some down-home funky beats for the crowd while Chris Arenas was locked in the pocket on bass. The two provided a solid foundation while Matt Fleming lit up the Rhodes and organ, Tony Jurado was on alto/soprano saxophone, and Jason Collins was on guitar. All three of these guys are tremendous soloists.

You can tell through Matt Fleming's playing style that he has loaded up on the music of the masters of his instrument. He blazes on the organ ala Jimmy McGriff and Lonnie Smith, and gets that great feel on the Rhodes like Herbie Hancock did back in the 70's. Tony Jurado has a fantastic tone on the sax, blowing blistering solos and adding great dynamics to the groups sound. He also busted out an EWI, an electronic horn, getting sounds such as a clean jazz guitar similar to George Benson or some outer space Bernie Worrell moog sounds. And Jason Collins is a funk machine, holding down some extra funky rhythms and captivating the audience with his electrifying solos not to far off from Blackbird McNight or Micheal Hampton from P-Funk. RD played a tight 1:15 set, leaving the crowd wanting more.

By this time the club had filled up and the audience was primed and eagerly awaiting Boomshanka . The group took the stage just before midnight and were in great form. The group's mix of funk, r&b, rock and even jazz provides for a great "funk-n-roll" sound. The dance floor was packed once the band started to play, everybody was getting down. Wade Larson brought some tasty grooves on the organ and Rhodes. The horns, Caesar Mercado on tenor saxophone and Mike Pitre on trumpet, were out on top after a sound issue with their microphones. Mike Pitre is still a new member of the group but you wouldn't know it hearing how tight he and Caesar are. Sean Leahy was rocking out letting loose some great solos, not rushing anything and taking it for what it was worth. Ryan Smith was also on guitar and provided some great vocals later in the set on some of the Boomshanka classics. Mike Warrington grooves freely on his 5 string bass just as his rhythm section counter part, Spencer Raymond, does on drums. Spencer always has a look of joy on his face while playing, there's no question he's having a good time.

The group unloaded some of the crowds favorites as the night went on, playing some of their great originals such as "Chicken Finger" and "Medulla Oblongata" as well as a couple covers including a Jeff Beck tune. The dancing didn't stop once throughout the set, signifying the sign of a good show!

It was close to 2 am as the group played their encore. This was truly a great night of music, you could see in the faces of the crowd as the left the club that they got what they come for, Great Music!

- Jambase

"Lucky 13"

Oct. 1st 2001

Killer jazz-funk from this San Francisco outfit, complete with horns, wailing keys and tight rhythm. They've been quietly winning loyal fans for the past few years, and it's easy to see why. Check 'em out.

-XLR8R magazine - XLR8R Magazine

"Music, Bars, and Nightlife Best Local Music Act 2001"

Sept. 1st, 2001

Music, Bars, and Nightlife
Best Local Music Act 2001

You voted, and we counted. See if your favorites are winners...
1 Green Day
2 Mother Hips
3 Raw Deluxe
4 Ledisi
5 Marcus Shelby
6 Kofy Brown
7 Vinyl
8 Quannum
9 Tainted Love
10 Boz Scaggs - CitySearch.com

"Urb Magazine: The Next 1000"

April 2009

San Francisco’s Raw Deluxe is ready to challenge any band claiming to be heir apparent to the title of America’s premier live hip-hop act. Since the Roots made their move to “Late Night,” the throne has been vacated, and the Bay Area seven-piece is determined to claim their rightful place in the music kingdom. Boasting one of hip-hop’s tightest rhythm sections, Raw Deluxe makes the rhymes of their three fearsome MCs come alive through the sounds of funky, organic instrumentation. Keyboards, drums, bass, and saxophone coalesce to provide a head-bobbing musical backdrop for Lexxx Luthor, Mic Blake, and Soulati to impart their wisdom in the form of smooth flows. The soulful bounce of “Everyday” showcases the band’s world-class musicianship, uplifting lyricism, and talent for crafting tuneful jams - Urb Magazine

"NorCal nuggets: Raw Deluxe"

"Snap back like a bungee chord — Lord!" Watch yourself, Raw Deluxe. The Bay Area group's flow is as satisfyingly smooth and substantive as classic Del tha Funkee Homosapien times three on "Can You Spend It," off its new Raw Communication (Reel Deal). MCs Lexxx Luthor and Mic Blake of Alphabet Soup and Soulati of Felonious are unstoppable and at the top of a mix that showcases the sheer delight of word-slingers riding the exact same wavelength. There's nothing particularly uncooked about the smokily intoxicating old-school jazz-funk gumbo on Raw Deluxe's third long-player: keyboardist Matt Fleming, saxophonist Tony Jurado, bassist Christ Arenas, and drummer Chris Spano are on point on "Something to Build Upon" — a celebration of the band's actual music-making process — which would chart in a better world and provide the foundation for a more maximalist hip-hop.

Fri/24, 10 p.m., $10
Club Six
60 Sixth St., SF
Wednesday April 22, 2009
- San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Catch these Bay Area groups playing live hip-hop Jan 07'"

Here's a rundown of local groups that blend live instruments with hip-hop elements. They can all be seen and heard regularly at local venues on both sides of the Bay Bridge. Check their Web sites for forthcoming gig info and sound clips.

Raw Deluxe
Who are they? A seven- (and sometimes eight-) piece band (featuring members of Alphabet Soup and Felonious) from San Francisco.
Active since: 1998
What's their sound? Thick, homegrown funk mixed with live rap and beatbox.
Interesting tidbit: Human percussionist-MC Soulati is also an accomplished playwright.
Web site: www.RawDeluxeMusic.com
- SF Chronicle

"Hip-hop takes the stage Jan 07'"

It's Saturday night and El Rincon, a Mission District restaurant-bar, has it going on. DJ Strategy spins the latest hyphy hits by the Federation, E-40, Mistah FAB, Turf Talk and Too ; the floor is filled with Asian, Latina and black women in their 20s, who gyrate gleefully while their boyfriends and would-be boyfriends bunch up at the bar. Equal exuberance is shown for older material by James Brown, Common, and Eric B. & Rakim. The crowd isn't all youthful, however; there's at least one older couple seated at a back table.
"Without Love," featuring Zion I, Crown City Rockers
"Dream On," Double Negative
"Time Over Money," Bayonics
"Keep It Clean," Bayonics
"Back Away," AguaLibre
"Look Into the Book," Alphabet Soup ]
All of a sudden, the recorded music stops. A conga-drum-fueled Latin percussion groove takes over, followed by punchy horns and a driving bass line. The evening's headliner, Bayonics, has taken the stage.
Jairo, Bayonics' lead singer, croons in Spanish, followed by a rapper, June, who lends a sense of urgency to the proceedings. After another salsa-fied percussion break, another emcee, Dreese, lays down his rhymes. The crowd is immediately transfixed. Shouts of "ay ay" fill the air, and when Jairo asks the audience to say "It's all right," they happily comply.
By 1:15 a.m., a full-on reggaeton -- a mixture of cumbia, reggae and rap -- session has developed, in which the sweat-drenched crowd eagerly participates. Jairo dances with audience members as the band chants, this time in English, "Shake that thing, work that thing."
For those used to watching rappers posture onstage by themselves, or backed by a DJ, experiencing a group like Bayonics is a real eye-opener. As Jairo later explains, hip-hop is "definitely the easiest way" to reach young people these days. However, "when you see a live band playing hip-hop, it kinda blows your wig back."
Some call it a movement. Others say it's a revival. But there's no denying that the blending of hip-hop with live instrumentation and a variety of other genres -- including funk, jazz, salsa, reggaeton and rock -- is one of the freshest, most happening things going in the Bay Area's multicultural music scene.
The idea of a band fusing hip-hop with live instrumentation is far from an anomaly in the Bay Area -- it's part of local tradition. During the mid-'90s heyday of the acid-jazz era, groups like Alphabet Soup, the Mo'fessionals, the Broun Fellinis, Mingus Amungus and Jungle Biskit enthralled hipster crowds at such San Francisco venues as the Up & Down Club and the Elbo Room. For these artists, soul, jazz and hip-hop were all interchangeable elements of the musical mix. But though acid jazz eventually fell out of fashion, the music never stopped -- it's just taken on new forms.
As Candida Martinez, a club booker who's been one of the biggest supporters of local bands, points out, "Some of the very same players (are) still on the scene as you had a decade ago."
What has changed since the dot-com era, Martinez says, is that a lot of live-music venues have reopened under different management as "swanky DJ bars with expensive drinks." For that reason, "venues like Bruno's, the Elbo Room, the Independent, Mezzanine, Shattuck Down Low and Yoshi's are very precious because they work to preserve and present good live music."
Currently, the Bay Area is home to numerous groups that blend live instrumentation with hip-hop beats and rap vocals. A partial list includes Bayonics, Dynamic, Crown City Rockers, Agualibre, J.Boogie's Dubtronic Science, Flipsyde, the Coup, Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, L.A.E., Felonious, Inspector Double Negative and the Equal Positives, Bucho, Spearhead and Raw Deluxe. Each has its own nuances and stylistic influences yet, put together, they add up to a remarkably diverse, if still mostly underground, movement.
As Bayonics' Jairo puts it, "musicianship in itself" qualifies as a movement. Noting that school music programs have been severely underfunded, he laments that today's kids would rather emulate Jay-Z than Sonny Rollins. "Everyone wants to be a rapper. No one wants to pick up the saxophone."
The upshot is that local musicians have had to become more savvy about self-promotion to survive -- MySpace and YouTube have helped in this regard. In the process, the sites have created a community of like-minded artists who have found their groove and are beginning to find their audiences. As Jairo says, Bayonics' monthly residency at the Elbo Room is "packed tight. You can't even move."
Bayonics' multifaceted sound could be seen as the hip-hop generation's answer to the Latin fusion of the '70s -- think Malo and Santana, minus the guitar pyrotechnics and with a more street-wise style. Getting that sound has been an evolutionary process. The band started six years ago as a traditional salsa group, Mala Fama, that emerged out of the Loco Bloco drum ensemble.
"We all grew up doing folkloric music," Jairo explains. After-hours jam sessions led to excursions into funk and hip-hop -- which Jairo says was as much a part of the group members' experience growing up as traditional Latin and Chicano music. Historically, he notes, West Coast rappers like Too , E-40 and Snoop Dogg "all recorded with live music," adding, "The majority of us are Latinos, but the urban culture is definitely us."
Agualibre could easily be considered Bayonics' East Bay counterpart. Formerly known as O-maya, the group is also a Latin-tinged big band with a fusion-friendly sound that incorporates rap and reggae influences along with traditional arrangements and choruses. "Agualibre is the result of cultures mixing together," says singer Destani Wolf. "The reality is the world is getting smaller. You have people from mixed backgrounds from all over the world."
The band is still putting finishing touches on its debut album, but Aqualibre quickly has become a fan favorite, playing before rapturous crowds at local venues, including October's Latin Jazz Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens. Onstage, says Wolf, "we're all about having a good time. The result usually goes across the board. You see people of all ages dancing."
Another live urban act with a reputation for a killer stage show is Crown City Rockers, whose sound can be described as Sly & the Family Stone meets Run-D.M.C. The Oakland band started as Boston-to-San Francisco transplants called Mission in 2000 (changing their moniker after objections from the British rock band of the same name), and has released several successful albums, including 2004's "Earthtones."
According to emcee Raashan Ahmad, playing live hip-hop isn't as easy as it seems: "Hip-hop is all about the drums. To get the drums to knock is truly a science." Rap's insistence on 4/4 tempos, he says, can be confusing for musicians from a jazz or rock background. "You have to relearn your instrument to play hip-hop."
In an age of ProTools-produced tracks and rigid radio formats, Ahmad admits, it's sometimes a struggle for hip-hop musicians, yet being a live group does offer some advantages. "You can get into those places where people don't know that they like hip-hop," he says -- like the Stern Grove Festival, which hosted the band last year.
Alongside such nationally known indie hip-hop acts as the Coup, Blackalicious and Lyrics Born, Flipsyde has been one of the most successful live urban groups to come out of the Bay Area. The band is signed to Interscope, and in the past two years, it has toured with Snoop Dogg and the Black Eyed Peas, appeared on Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno's late-night TV shows, hit the top 10 in Germany and played San Quentin State Prison (a la Johnny Cash), and its song "Someday" was chosen by NBC as the theme song for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Flipsyde's mass appeal is easy to understand: It combines the boom-bap of hip-hop with the melodic thrust of rock music. What separates it from other rap-rock groups, including Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, says the band's DJ, D-Sharp, is that its rapper, Piper, is "a real MC," as well as that its musical influences include rap, blues and Latin music but eschew metallic overkill.
Another distinguishing characteristic is Flipsyde's multiculturalism. "Piper, he's half Brazilian. (Vocalist-guitarist) Steve (Knight), he's a white dude from Alabama. (Guitarist) Dave (Lopez) grew up in Chile. ... Me, I'm born and raised in Oakland, with Mississippi roots," D-Sharp says. "To have so much diversity in the group, that's a representation of the Bay Area."
Yet, while it might be difficult for a musician from the Bay Area to build a successful solo career (with the notable exceptions of Joshua Redman and Charlie Hunter), there's strength in numbers where the live urban scene is concerned. Bayonics boasts 13 people; Agualibre has nine members; there are five Crown City Rockers. And Dynamic recently added a two-piece horn section and a percussionist, for a total of seven.
"The sound is getting bigger," says Kimiko Joy, Dynamic's singer. She says the group started six years ago as a three-piece live hip-hop band. After Joy joined a year ago, its music evolved into what she calls "alternative soul" -- a catchall phrase that incorporates R&B, rap, spoken word, funk and jazz, sometimes within the same song.
"None of us listen to just one type of music. None of us love just one type of music," she explains -- a statement that could easily extend to the entire live-urban movement.
According to Joy, what's happening now in the bay's live music scene is more of a revival than anything else. A few years ago, during the height of the DJ era, she says, "it was really hard for a live band." Today, she theorizes, "people are getting tired of hearing the same songs all the time. They want to hear something fresh and new. ... We are creating a niche that's necessary." - SF Chronicle

"Your Daily Lick: Raw Deluxe...Raw Communication (Reel Deal Records)"

Your Daily Lick: Raw Deluxe
Raw Communication (Reel Deal Records)

February 26, 2009

Take it from the band itself: We got rhythm, we got soul, we got class, we got something to build upon, goes the chorus to the second track. Blending live hip-hop (drums, bass, keys, and sax) with Jurassic 5-style group raps (Lexx Luthor, MicBlake, and Soulati trade freely), Raw Deluxe delivers an exuberant hybrid of jazz, funk, and hip-hop.

At the Elbo Room (647 Valencia St., San Francisco) on Mar. 6. 10 p.m., $10

— Nate Seltenrich - East Bay Express

"Music Interview: Raw Deluxe"

Right when you thought the hip-hop world was starting to get boring with electronic synthesizers and keyboards, Raw Deluxe provides hope with a little flavor on the side. Raw Deluxe blends live hip-hop instrumentation with head-nodding raps, presenting a solid hybrid of jazz and hip-hop. Time to get funky!

When did the band form?

Raw Deluxe started out as an instrumental funk band in 1998, when Chris Spano, Chris Arenas and Matt Fleming started performing together. We enlisted a variety of horn players and DJs while performing throughout the San Francisco acid-jazz circuit of the late nineties.

Who are the members and what instruments do they play?

Chris Spano -drums
Chris Arenas -bass
Matt Fleming -keyboards
Tony Jurado -saxophones
Lexxx Luthor, Mic Blake and Tommy "Soulati" Shepherd -vocals

What inspired you guys to make music together?

Chris: The three of us were playing in another funk project together but wanted to take a more modern approach to the music so Raw Deluxe was born. After playing with a number of horn players Tony joined the ranks and the chemistry was right so we told him he had to join. The incorporation of the Emcee’s came through playing the same clubs and sitting in with each other’s bands over the years. Mic Blake & Lexxx both come from the noted jazz/hip-hop group Alphabet Soup which was one of the first acts on the scene in the late 80`s and early 90`s. Soulati`s band Felonious had come on the scene right around the same time as Raw Deluxe

Could you describe the music-making process and workflow for a song like “We Make it Hot”?

Matt: Typically, one of the band members will bring in a song idea. This can be anything from a very skeletal riff open for interpretation or a close to complete song. A more complete song idea would include all the instruments parts worked out with multiple changes or versions. In the past, a song idea was conveyed by playing and/or singing parts. For the last few years we have been using song-writing applications like Reason. Reason allows us to convey our ideas to everyone else in the band quicker and easier.

Once a song idea or beat has been approved, the band will reproduce the same sound and feel of the original beat. From there, the song is manipulated and formed into different parts or sections as a result of everyone's input. After playing the song a few times, we decided if the tune needs additional parts or changes.

Chris: Usually an MC will say ~that beat sounds great can we get hook on that? ~

Matt: Vocals also play a part in creating breaks, changes or anything else that will emphasize an important part of the song.

Tony: We all know what we like when we hear it. People bring different beats to the group and when someone yells out "that shit is HOTTT", then we continue working on it.

Who are your major influences and why?

Matt: All the band members have their own musical influences. Some favorite types of music and artists overlap and some don't.

Chris: That is definitely true. Though some artists that come to mind are Stevie Wonder, P-Funk, Sly Stone, Miles Davis, The Meters, all New Orleans funk really. DC Go-Go Music. Then you’ve got all the different hip-hop from De La Soul and the Native Tongue Family, Too Short, The Roots, old school Sugar Hill Records & Tuff City.

Spano: definitely PFunk, James Brown, fusion- Return to Forever, Eric B and Rakim, Soulive, J5

Matt: Lots of overlap there. Some of the other funk oriented artists that influenced me and most of us early on were Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Grant Green, Kool & The Gang, Chic Corea: Return to Forever, Earth Wind & Fire and definitely Parliament. Some newer artists that were important to me in developing our sound might include The Brand New Heavies, Trouble Funk, Jamiroquai, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Soulive, Dr. Dre and Me'shell Ndegeocello.
When you start getting into Hip-Hop and all the stuff that has come out up until now, it all influences us because Hip-Hop can be any kind of music. That's why Hip-Hop has managed to stay fresh for so long. It's old and new while being anything you want it to be.
If I had to pick one pianist/keyboardist that was influential to me it would be Herbie Hancock. Of course there are a ton of other guys to listen to but Herbie did it all and is still evolving.
I was lucky that my parents noticed a musical interest and bought me a piano when I was 5. I started out taking classical lessons as a kid and then eventually enrolled in jazz band and orchestra at school. So early on classical, jazz and anything on the radio influenced me growing up.

Tony: I love all sorts of music. My first tape was Charlie Parker at Birdland. I grew up listening to jazz because I played the saxophone, classical music because my mother was a ballerina, and hip-hop because I had an older sister in high school that was all about that. I love anything with a good beat and bass line.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

Matt: I think of our sound as Funk & Hip-Hop. Our music has been described as Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Alternative Rap.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about the music industry?

The music is my favorite part. The amount of people with their hands out looking for a part of the action is what I don’t care for.

Tony: I agree with Spano. The music is the best part of the music industry. The industry is the worst part of the music industry.

Matt: I think we are seeing the results of a ten-year shift from CDs and records to digital distribution. This was caused by radio stations being bought out by a few major companies. From coast to coast, most DJs and playlists are all the same. Since there are less DJs and most of them have a playlist that only has so many songs, it's harder for an underground artist to get airplay. Digital distribution had to happen because people are craving new and original music.

Who has helped the band along the way?

Matt: Friends and Family. Every person that has come to a show. Everyone we have had the pleasure to perform with. Anyone that has helped us with the recording, producing and promotion of our music.

What can we expect from your new album “Raw Communication” that was released on March 6, 2009?

Chris: Raw Communication gives a pretty good feel of what the Raw Deluxe sound is about. This release really captures the dynamics between the musicians and MCees. During the recording process of this album we learned how to work as efficient as possible and we know what were looking for while in the studio.

Tony: You can expect the desire to turn up the volume and bounce a lot.

Spano: I think this is a new sound for us as Raw Deluxe continues to evolve musically.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

Spano: The best way is to come out to one of our shows. The group is definitely noted for our high-energy shows! If like what you hear at the show you can pick up a CD, If not online is always an option these days. You can listen to and purchase music both through our website www.rawdeluxemusic.com or at myspace.com/rawdeluxe.

Where do you see your work going?

Tony: I think the next step for the band is to keep recording new tracks and push ourselves. Every band wants to be different and new and creative. The best way to do that while staying true to the music is to play what feels good.

Chris: When we first hooked up with the MCees our music had a pretty straightforward jazz/hip-hop feel to it. These days we’ve been experimenting with a lot new sounds and different techniques of producing them.

Spano: I agree with Tony we need to continue to create new music to bring to our audience.

What are your plans for future projects?

Chris: We’re already in pre-production for an EP that we’ve been writing new material for and plan to get back into the studio this spring.

What are you most excited about right now?

Spano: I am excited about the new sound of Raw Communication's - Music Is My Life!

Matt: Getting people's reactions to Raw Communication and recording the new material. We still have unfinished recordings from the last album.

Tony: At this very moment, I'm pretty excited about eating this Trader Joe's macaroni and cheese. From a music standpoint, I'm excited about the new unrecorded material we've been working on.

Any advice for other musician’s reading Frozen Aisle Magazine?
Do it because you love it.
Don't limit yourself to anything.

http://www.frozenaisle.com/2009/05/interview-raw-deluxe.html - Frozen Aisle


Elephunk Live & Direct - Various Artists - (track7 Get Some) - 2001
Back to the Jungle - Raw Deluxe - 2001
Back By Popular Demand - Raw Deluxe - 2005
Raw Communication - March 2009



Since 1998, Raw Deluxe has performed their high-energy show for audiences both nationally and internationally. The group's exciting live act stems from their well-crafted songs and strong improvisational skills.

The band formed when bassist, Chris Arenas, and drummer, Chris Spano, began performing with keyboardist, Matt Fleming. The trio enlisted DJ M3, the well-noted San Francisco house/hip-hop DJ, and a host of Bay Area horn players. Throughout the late nineties, the group infiltrated the Bay Area's acid-jazz and hip-hop circuits, performing at parties such as Toph One’s, "The Funkside," and Mr. Brown’s, "Elephunk" and "Double Trouble". Raw Deluxe soon made their first trip to Europe, performing throughout the Eastern part of the continent during the summer of 1999.

In 2000, Raw Deluxe was voted "Best Jazz Band" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s, "Best of the Bay". The band was also nominated for 2001 Best Music Act, on citysearch.com, along side artists such as Green Day, Boz Scaggs, and Vinyl, where they were noted as "One of the best original acts currently in the Bay Area." The group was then nominated for the 2002 SF Weekly Music Awards, "Best Soul / Blues / Funk" category.

The critically acclaimed EP, "Back to the Jungle," was released by the band on the Reel Deal Music label in 2001. XLR8R magazine noted the CD as "Killer jazz-funk from this San Francisco outfit, complete with horns, wailing keys and tight rhythm. They've been quietly winning loyal fans for the past few years, and with these six original tracks it's easy to see why. Check 'em out." The single "Get Some" was also featured on the Subkoncious Records compilation, "Elephunk / Live-N-Direct" that year as well.

In October 2005, the band released their follow up album "Back By Popular Demand". During the course of the recording the band enlisted guest MCees Lexxx Luthor, CB, and Mic Blake of the seminal jazz / hip-hop group Alphbet Soup. By the release of the album the MCees became offical members of Raw Deluxe. Today the band is comprised of Chris Spano - drums, Chris Arenas - bass, Matt Fleming - electric piano/organ, Tony Jurado - saxophone and features MCees Lexxx Luthor, Mic Blake and Soulati of Felonious. The group continues to maintain a busy schedule between time in the studio and performing with acts such as Digital Underground, Too Short, Olu Dara, and The Breakestra.

Raw Deluxe released their newest album, "Raw Communication", at a packed CD release party at San Francisco's Elbo Room in March 2009. The East Bay Express review of the album said "Blending live hip-hop (drums, bass, keys, and sax) with Jurassic 5-style group raps (Lexx Luthor, MicBlake, and Soulati trade freely), Raw Deluxe delivers an exuberant hybrid of jazz, funk, and hip-hop."