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New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFM

New York City, NY | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Jazz Pop




"SUM on NPR Radio"

NYC jazz/funk band S U M joins host Roberto Gooden aka DirtyFINGERS in the studio for an interview and performance previewing their show at Musikfest at the BBT Jazz Cabaret Stage on August 10, 2017. - WDIY Studio Session/NPR

"New music from SUM adds up nicely"

October 1, 2016) SUM is a Latin word that mean “to be” or “I.” And, after graduating from the Manhattan School of Music and spending years working with well known international artists, musician Steve Anthony B created SUM the band to express his own identity.
SUM leads off with a song – “Test The Waters” - that Steve tells us “is a song of hope, to inspire peole to go after their dreams.” Steve went after his dream forming SUM and we’re glad he “tested the waters,” with this midtempo number that nicely blends R&B grooves with jazzy arrangements.
Check out “Test The Waters” below and tell us what you think of SUM! - Soultracks

"SUM in Lehigh Valley Style Magazine"

Over 400 different performers will be featured at the 34th year of Musikfest, and SUM (pronounced soom) is one of them. SUM, which is the Latin word for “to be” or “I”, is a music project that understands the uniqueness of the individual and wants to encourage people to embrace their special qualities.

Based in New York City, SUM was founded by Steve Anthony Belvilus in 2015, and released its self-titled album in 2016. The band is composed of Belvilus as both the musical director and drummer, with the vocals of Patryce Williams, Francesco Beccaro on bass, Andrew Gould on alto saxophone, Gil “XL” Defay on trumpet, Joel Desroches on piano and Oliver Rambeloson on synth/keys.

SUM will be playing at the Frank Banko Alehouse (Southside) at the BB&T Jazz Cabaret Stage on August 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great acts at Musikfest including Santana (Aug. 4), Godsmack (Aug. 9), The Band Perry (Aug. 11), Toby Keith (Aug. 10) and so much more. - Lehigh Valley Style Mag

"Drum Mag Interview"

Thirty-three-year-old drummer Steve Anthony B caught our ear when we watched a video snippet of him on Youtube, promoting his new record. He was wailing on the drums so I shared the video with friends in the industry. As one of them said to me, "I agree. He's the real deal."
The 33-year old drummer hails from the island of Guadeloupe. Growing up, he studied drums under a teacher he calls "amazing," Raymond Grego. Then he studied classical music at Sorbonne university in Paris, France. But America beckoned. In 2004 he applied to the Manhattan School of Music and began
studying there with Justin
Dicciocio. Finances intervened,
as they often do, and when the
money ran out, he finished his
degree at City College of New
York. But the instruction was
great there, too, as he took
rhythm classes with famed
bassist John Patitucci.
I interviewed Steve about his debut record Sum via email.
DRUM! Why the B?
Steve The B. stands for the first letter of my last name. Belvilus. The story is whenever I had a gig and was meeting new musicians on the scene most of them had trouble pronouncing correctly my last name. So I decided to just say "B" to make everyone life easier.
DRUM! Why are you making this record at this time?
Steve This has to do more with where I am right now in my life. I am in a place in my life where I am comfortable with myself and ready to present what is inside of me. When musicians are really, really young they tend to do stuff to try to impress people. This recording is not trying to prove anything. I am just bringing something unique which is me.
Drum! What is the basic concept of Sum for you?
Steve The concept of S U M is based on the idea that we should be allowed to be our self without fear, rejection or oppression. S U M (pronounce soom) is a Latin word that means "to be" or "I". By making this album What I want people to get from this album is it's ok to be you: be yourself orbe"SUM".SUMisanexampleofthatandthisisthe mission statement of my band.
Drum! What's your compositional style or strategy? Do you start on piano? Or start with rhythms and bass? How do you build up the pieces?
Steve Well it all depends, but I rarely write a tune starting on the drums even though I am a drummer. I play piano as well so I spend most of my time in front of my upright piano in my apartment to compose. Most of my ideas start either with some chord changes that I found interesting or sometimes it's a melody that I start singing like "Last Prayer for a change" which is on the album. As far style, I believe if you master your craft, technically, you should be able to play anything, styles of music. The thing is in USA it seems like everything has to be in a box: you are either a jazz drummer, a funk drummer,
pop drummer and the list goes on...I don't believe in that at all! First of all, as a musician, I listen to a bunch of different music, even some music you would not think a drummer will appreciate. For example, I LOVE "bluegrass/country music". Alison Krauss is one of my favorite singer and I would love to work with her. Therefore, I picture music as a giant painting. Each colors of the painting represent the different styles in music. If somebody asks me to focus on one style, I will tell them: well basically you want me to get very close to the painting and just appreciate the color yellow for example. I
Originally appeared on drummagazine.com. Used by permission.
believe in order for me to appreciate music, I need to step back and appreciate the whole painting and not just a color.
Drum! How do you approach playing the drums when you are the composer and bandleader? Is it any different for you?
Steve This is totally different. On
this project I am the drummer,
bandleader, arranger, producer. It is a
lot of hats to wear at the same time. I
spent so much of my time worrying
about everybody else part that, the
day before the recording, I realized I had not studied my own part yet as a drummer. Lol!! Also The day of the recording, everybody had a great time, except me: as a bandleader and producer my brain was working at 200 percent of its capacity, worrying about time, getting horns right etc. You have to have strong shoulders to be a band leader.
Drum! How did you record? Live in the studio? Overdubs?
Steve We recorded the rhythm section live and some horns part as well were recorded live. We overdubbed the vocals and some horns as well and I did some post production on keys and the keyboard player added his part later on.
Drum! What was the drum setup for recording?
Steve Because I am really picky as far drum gear, I brought my own drum set to the studio for this recording. I play Sonor drums since 2001. I used the same kit my father offered me when I was 17 years old. I bought this drums in France and brought it with me when I moved here in New York City in 2004. What makes this set sounds amazing is the heads I use: I use the Black Suede Emperor by Remo. Those heads are just the best for me: I can play anything with those: Jazz, fusion, pop, funk and they are amazing for recording. As far cymbals I mixed Zildjan and Sabian cymbals. I just used two crash cymbals, one ride and hi hat. In order to have some consistency I did not want to switch gear for every tune on the record. So I kept the same set up and I decided instead to change the texture of the drums through mixing. I even added some drum plugin on my kit for example for the tune "Test The Waters" because I wanted to have a more "produce" sound and less natural feel.
Drum! What's the most interesting drum tune on the record?
Steve Think the most interesting tune as far drum tune is "S U M thing" because of the drum solo and the groove that is in odd meter. However, I was not interested in doing a recording with a bunch of drum licks, just to show off my techniques to say "how great I am" or "listen to how fast I can do this roll." What I hope is that whoever listens to this recording will have one track he will choose to listen to depending on his mood and wherever he might be. I hope this recording
will be one of those CDs people want to have and listen to when they are driving.
Drum! You've got great people on the recording and a band with younger cats like yourself. Is the band going to gig?
Steve The band will play live and we will play the tunes on the record and as well some other tunes not yet recorded.
Guest musicians on SUM
• Jacques Schwarz Bart: Tenor Sax, (D’Angelo voodoo tour, Erykha Badhu)
• Brian Donohoe: Tenor Sax, (Progger, Snarky Puppy)
• Daniel Sadownick: Percussion, (Dennis Chambers, Michael Brecker, Christian Mcbride)
• Brian “Raydar” Ellis: DJ, (Esperanza Spaulding, Chris “daddy” Dave, Robert Glasper)
Core band on the record
• Joel Desroches: Piano, Rhodes, (Rakiem Walker) • Olivier Rambeloson: Key, Synth, (Florent Pagny,
Big Ali)
• Gil “Excel” Defay: trumpet (Eric Bennet, Rachel
• Andrew Gould: Alto Sax (Wallace Roney Jazz
Orchestra, Fifth Harmony)
• Francesco Beccaro: bass (Monifah, Dennis
Chambers, Kdrew)
• Patryce Williams: vocals (Finian’s Rainbow show,
The Unveiling show at the Apollo)
Originally appeared on drummagazine.com. Used by permission. - Drum Magazine

"SUM among the 5 Top music recommendation in Greece"

E12 #give5aspin
Handpicked for your tastes this week: Lunacre, Tonio Sagan, Day Joy, Best Friend and SUM - GiveitaSpin

""Sum the new Jazz/Funk/Soul revelation coming from NYC" French article"

Le premier E.P de SUM donne déjà l’envie d’en écouter plus !

Derrière le nom de ce groupe new-yorkais, se cache Steve Anthony B(elvilus), batteur et leader du combo qui a déjà travaillé avec quelques noms prestigieux comme Renee Neufville (Zhané), les Nubians ou encore Nathalie Cole, pour citer quelques références.

Le parcours également prestigieux des 5 musiciens qui l’accompagnent et de la chanteuse, Patryce Williams, atout majeur du collectif met le niveau déjà assez haut. Et si vous ajoutez à ça la présence du saxophoniste français Jacques Schwarz Bart vu du côté des plus grands du style d’Erykah Badu à Roy Hargrove, en passant par Soulive ou Amp Fiddler, sur un des titres, vous n’aurez pas de mal à vous imaginer dans quel univers évolue cet album.

En 5 titres (+ une intro et deux versions radios), on imagine déjà tout l’étendu du talent de Steve et de son band !
« Funk hip Nasty« , ou « Test the waters » sont des réussites immédiates que la Miss Badu citée plus haut ne renierait pas !

De plus, on imagine aisément que leur lieu de prédilection est la scène et on ose espérer que l’on pourra les voir de ce côté de l’Atlantique pour faire la promotion de ce premier projet.

Un groupe à suivre de très prêt en tous cas ! - Fonkadelica

"Up FrontSoul Radio show"

Thank you PRX Media company and Susan Dickson for spinning "Funk Hip Nasty" on the UpfrontSoul show along with music from Jamison Ross, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, The Adelians, Tony Allen! You can start listening @ 14:30sec if you are in a hurry or listen to the whole thing @ 11:19sec - UpFront Soul on PRX media company

"Coffee House interview"

SUM interview at Coffee House produced by First Live Studio -


SUM EP released  on Sept 9, 2016

SUM full album "It's Alright To Be Me", expected release: Spring 2018



SUM, pronounced “soom”, has created its identity in the meaning of the latin word “sum” and inspires its audience to be themselves, to be free at each one of its shows.  SUM has  performed at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington DC, The Musikfest Festival 2017,  on NPR Radio, The B.B. King Blues Club, The Brooklyn Bowl and at Club Bonafide just to name a few.  

The  band is lead by drummer, composer and arranger Steve Belvilus.  Steve has an extensive career in the music industry. He has worked on Broadway (Hamilton: An American Musical),  with Natalie Cole, Hezekiah walker, Les Nubians,  Rhonda Ross,  Renée Neufville and Grammy winning producer Scott Jacoby (John Legend/Sia) to name a few. He is an alumnus of the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Manhattan school of Music and City College of New York. 

SUM vocalist, Patryce Williams, is a professional actress/singer based in New York City and a member of Actors Equity Association.  She studies at the prestigious Barrow Group Theater School which alumni include actress Anne Hathaway,  Verga Farmiga and actor Denis O'Hare.  Patryce Williams was recently seen on the comedy play "The Hungry Ghost" in New York City.


S U M has already released an EP record that features some of the greatest musicians on the New York scene: Jacques Schwarz Bart (D’Angelo/ Erykah Badu), DJ Raydar Ellis (Esperanza Spaulding). SUM members:  Gil "XL"Defay,  Andrew Gould, Joel Desroches, Olivier Rambeloson and Francesco Beccaro have performed with some of the biggest names in the industry as well: Eric Bennett, Ariana Grande, Tye Tribbett, Tama Braxton,  Ms Lauryn Hill, The Village Vanguard Orchestra just to name of few.  SUM is currently finishing its full album which will be released this Spring.

Band Members